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Influenza is still circulating in Waikato and nationally.

“We are still in influenza season and our general practices and hospitals continue to treat people for influenza-like-illnesses and respiratory infections,” said Dr Anita Bell.

The time to be able to get the vaccine has been extended and available until August  31st..  People who have not yet been vaccinated should book an appointment with their general practice or visit a selected local pharmacy immediately.

“For those most at risk the vaccine is available for free, so check with your doctor,” said Bell. Flu symptoms

Influenza is a potentially serious viral infection that’s much worse than a cold.  Although some of the symptoms are the same, influenza is usually much more severe.

“Influenza can be severe enough to require hospital treatment, particularly in the very young, elderly, and in people who already have health problems,” said Bell.

Influenza will affect up to one in five New Zealanders every year and approximately 400 deaths each year in New Zealand are related to influenza infection.

The virus spreads easily and hand hygiene and cough etiquette are effective ways to reduce the spread, but the vaccine remains the most proven way to ward of the flu.

If you feel unwell you can help reduce the spread of the virus by:

Staying at home if you are unwell.

Covering your cough or sneezing using disposable tissues.

Regularly washing your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water and drying your hands with a clean dry towel or paper towel.

Contact your GP or local medical centre to get the influenza vaccine.  Further information on general hygiene and influenza call:

0800 IMMUNE – 0800 466 863

Healthline – 0800 611 116

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