Doctors recommend flu jabs as influenza hits New Zealand

May 8, 2019

Doctors recommend flu jabs as influenza hits New Zealand

People are urged to get flu jabs after an outbreak of influenza. Photo: Pixabay

Aucklanders are being urged to get flu jabs after early cases of influenza have been reported around the country.

MidCentral DHB Officer of Health Dr Robert Weir said in a press release that there had already been reported cases of influenza in Palmerston North, with a few cases resulting in hospitalisation.

“We are hearing about more cases in the district than we would normally expect at this time of the year.

“Get immunised to stop the spread of influenza in your community. Even if you don’t feel sick, you could still be infected with influenza and pass it on to others," Dr Weir said.

According to the latest Ministry of Health data, there were 767 deaths from the flu and pneumonia in 2015.

Dr Edwin Reynolds from Auckland Regional Public Health Service said in a statement Auckland was starting to see cases of Influenza A and B.

Dr Reynolds said it was because people returned from the Northern Hemisphere winter flu season.

“This may be a blip, but it could also indicate the flu season is starting early this year.”

Dr Reynolds said people should get the 2019 vaccine because it protects against prevalent strains of influenza.

“If you’re vaccinated, your chances of getting sick from the types of flu circulating in NZ will be much lower,” he said.

The flu is different than a standard cold as the symptoms are more severe. The symptoms can include a fever, coughs, runny nose, aches and an upset stomach. The illness usually lasts seven to 10 days.

Infected people can spread influenza by coughing, sneezing or talking as droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people nearby and be inhaled into the lungs.

Doctors and pharmacies now offer a vaccine against influenza.

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