By Meg Kennedy
Moorabool residents are being urged to get their flu shot and practise good hygiene, following what is predicted to be one of the worst flu seasons ever in Victoria.
The peak for flu season is usually June to September; yet a grim start has already begun, with the number of state-wide influenza deaths already at 26.
Local health services Ballan District Health and Care and Djerriwarrh Health Services in Bacchus Marsh have urged residents to act this flu season.
Ballan District Health and Care has flu shots for $15, available until January 2020.
The service says that “good hand hygiene and cough etiquette” is essential advice.
“Compared to this time last year, there have been a higher number of flu-related deaths…there have already been children among the 26 people in Victoria whose deaths have been attributed to the early-starting flu season,” said a spokesperson for BDHC.
The service also noted there has been a reduction in children getting the flu shot this year compared to 2018.
“Not only is the flu shot free for children between 6 months and 5 years, having the flu shot could save their life.”
Djerriwarrh Health urged Bacchus Marsh residents to get their flu vaccine earlier than usual this year after a “terrible start” to the season in Victoria.
“This flu season is looking to be worse than any in the last five years…[and] the worst in recent memory,” said a spokesperson.
“There have already been 40,000 cases of influenza recorded in Australia, with 26 deaths and three Residential Aged Care Facilities closed due to flu outbreak.”
“There are a number of places to be vaccinated including the local pharmacies, at the local clinics and at Djerriwarrh Health Services.”
The service also urged people who are feeling unwell to stay at home, rest, have plenty of fluids and see their doctor.
“In order to make sure people don’t expose others who may be vulnerable or at increased risk of catching the flu such as people undergoing chemotherapy, the very young and the very old, the doctors clinic should be notified of the reason for the visit so they can put precautions in place for your visit.”
Flu shots are only $15 for adults and free for children between 6-months to 5-years old from Ballan District Health & Care.
You can call the GP Clinic on (03) 5366 7999 to make an appointment.
Flu shots around the Bacchus Marsh area are available at local GP clinics, local pharmacies and Djerriwarrh Health Services clinics.
For more information, visit https://www.djhs.org.au//home.