Flu drug runs out, plea for sick to stay home

STOCKS of the drug used to fight potentially deadly flu have run out in Australia in the wake of a horrendous flu season.

But Ipswich residents can still access the treatment.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has listed Tamiflu as "unavailable" with no confirmation on when new stock will arrive in the country.

Across Australia more than 160,000 people have been struck down by the flu this season.

In Ipswich, that figures is more than 3200 which is four times the usual number of confirmed flu cases at this time of year.

While stocks of Tamiflu have been depleted across the nation, Ipswich Hospital was well prepared.

A spokesperson for West Moreton Hospital and Health Service said Ipswich residents would have access to the drug.

"West Moreton prepared well for the flu season and we continue to have good stocks of drugs used to manage the effects of the flu - more than enough for our predicted needs," the spokesperson said.

"The best defence against the flu is to get a vaccination. The current vaccine provides protection against four strains of the flu that Queenslanders are experiencing this year. In addition to getting vaccinated, there are practical steps we can all take to avoid catching the flu or to limit its spread, and it can be as simple as staying at home when sick."

How to avoid spreading flu

  • Throw your tissue in a plastic-lined rubbish bin after use
  • Wash your hands with soap and water
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as germs spread easily
  • Don't go to work if you are unwell and don't send children to school or childcare if they are unwell
  • Keep surfaces such as door handles, kitchen bench tops, phones and keyboards clean
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

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