Figures show cases of flu going down

Nicole SalmeriSouth Western Times
South West population health physician Dr Tania Wallace said it is not too late to get your flu vaccination.
Camera IconSouth West population health physician Dr Tania Wallace said it is not too late to get your flu vaccination.

South West doctors and nurses can breathe a sigh of relief after a slight decrease in flu cases this month, but are reminding residents to remain vigilant when it comes to basic hygiene this winter.

A recent report from WA Country Health Service shows there were 96 reported flu cases in the South West last year, but this year there had been more than 1000 reported cases.

South West population health physician Dr Tania Wallace said although figures were showing a slight decline in flu cases this month, it was well above average from this time last year.

“Year to date we are over 10 times the number from last year and that was unseasonal and very early, that problem started in April and this was across WA and Australia,” Dr Wallace said.

“We have seen it has fallen slightly in July in WA and the South West, but keep in mind that is only falling from a very very high level.

“It is good news and we are hoping the trend is going to continue down.”

Dr Wallace said she still recommended people have a vaccination.

“For every notification we get of the flu, that’s someone that has had a laboratory test and there’s a lot more out there that have had flu that haven’t been to the doctor,” she said

“It is absolutely still not too late to get the flu vaccine, it’s only the middle of July and we all know that is very much still winter.”

Dr Wallace said she wanted to remind residents to continue to take precautions against the flu.

“Social distance is very important, if you are more than one metre away from someone with the flu you are much less likely to catch it from them,” Dr Wallace said.

“Also to practice good hand hygiene as the flu is highly likely to be passed on through hands.”

Dr Wallace said anyone experiencing flu like symptoms such as a high fever and a respiratory illness needed to stay at home.

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