Launceston doctor says not too late to vaccinate against flu

FEVER: Civic Square Surgery doctor Umit Sungur says influenza hit Tasmanians harder and earlier in the flu season. Picture: Tess Brunton
FEVER: Civic Square Surgery doctor Umit Sungur says influenza hit Tasmanians harder and earlier in the flu season. Picture: Tess Brunton

It’s not too late to vaccinate.

Civic Square Surgery doctor Umit Sungur said outbreaks of influenza usually hit mid-winter to early spring, but the illness had arrived earlier this year.

There were 63 laboratory-confirmed cases on influenza during June.  This was higher than the five-year average of 39 notifications. From January 1 until June 30, about 238 cases were confirmed in Tasmania this year.

Every four to five years a new virus popped up, which more people were susceptible to, he said.

About 1500 to 3000 people die in Australia from influenza complications, including pneumonia.

This year there were age-specific vaccinations for children for influenza under the National Immunisation Program.

“We can prevent it be immunising ourselves every year,” Dr Sungur said.

He recommended people washed their hands, rested at home, drank plenty of water and had vitamin C if they had the flu. Symptoms include chills, a high fever, muscular aches and coughing.