9 June 2011

Today starts the beginning of the 2011 Winter Illness Campaign, "The Spread of Flu is Up To You" Nationals Member for Lismore Thomas George advised.

This is a public awareness campaign to inform the public of the best way to reduce the impact of the flu within the community, workplace and the public hospital system.

Mr George said influenza vaccination each year before winter arrives is the best defence to prevent influenza.

“Influenza is a vaccine-preventable illness but people need to receive a new vaccine every year because influenza viruses change constantly,” Mr George said.

"There are several simple steps everyone can take this winter to prevent the spread of flu which has a serious impact on the general health of the community, the public health system and affects businesses across NSW,” he said.

Most winters it is estimated that between 10 to 30 per cent of people get influenza and many require treatment in hospital.

The campaign will promote the measures people can take to prevent the spread of flu including:

Mr George said data shows hospital admissions between July and September typically increase.

“Admissions generally by 3.7 per cent, with the average length of stay also increasing by 1.3 per cent,” said Mr George.

“Adults are most infectious in the first 3-5 days of their illness and people at risk of complications are eligible for free influenza vaccine under the National Influenza Vaccination Program,” he said.

These groups include:

For more information on the Winter Flu Campaign 2011 visit www.health.nsw.gov.au.

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.