EPIDEMIC: Five people in Dalby have been hospitalised with the flu.
EPIDEMIC: Five people in Dalby have been hospitalised with the flu. Sunshine Coast Daily Archives

Six people hospitalised with flu

WITH the excitement of a winter chill comes some concern about health as diseases like flu and whooping cough surface, and have already reared their ugly heads for another year.

Since the start of the year, there have been 747 confirmed diagnoses of influenza, and 103 cases of whooping cough in the Darling Downs/south west.

Darling Downs Public Health Unit Director Dr Penny Hutchinson said flu and whooping cough symp- toms differ case by case.

"Symptoms of influenza and whooping cough are varied, with diagnosis determined via laboratory testing," Dr Hutchinson said.

"If people suspect they have either condition, it is best to follow up with their GP in the first instance.

"Symptoms of whooping cough vary but typically start out like a cold with a runny nose with sneezing, tiredness and characteristic coughing bouts developing over several days.

"The flu is spread easily through sneezing and coughing. A person can spread the flu to others one day before they become unwell themselves."

Amcal pharmacist Lachlan Pettiford said treatment for both conditions was readily available and necessary.

"Both influenza and whooping cough are vaccine-preventable, so vaccination is essential to prevent the transmission of disease and to protect those at-risk members of the community," he said.

"With vaccines now available to be administered in pharmacy without the need for prescription for people 16 and over the access to these vaccines are greatly increased."


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