BUSY: Dr Mohammed Sultan of Gatton's Family Health Clinic has seen an big increase in the number of patients with influenza this year.
BUSY: Dr Mohammed Sultan of Gatton's Family Health Clinic has seen an big increase in the number of patients with influenza this year. Lachlan McIvor

Take steps to avoid influenza

EVEN as a particularly rampant influenza season appears to have peaked, Queensland Health is urging people to take active steps to reduce the risk of coming down with the flu.

At the end of August, there were 29,996 cases of influenza reported across the state for the year so far, already surpassing figures from the previous two years.

Gatton's Family Health Clinic general practitioner Dr Mohammed Sultan said he had seen an increased number of patients with influenza this year.

"We've probably seen a high number of patients come through.... and I think the number of patients we've seen they are more sick than usual,” Dr Sultan said.

Dr Sultan said it was never too late to get vaccinated and if you did get sick, it was important to take preventative measures in order to reduce the spread of the virus.

"If it's caught early there are anti viral treatments available, and should see your doctor to see that it's nothing worse than just the flu,” he said.

"A lot of symptomatic treatment along the way - rest, fluids and staying way from contact can help to stop the spread of the virus as well.”

Queensland Health Medical Director of Communicable Diseases Branch Dr Heidi Carroll said there are simple measures everyone can take.

"Although the best defence is to be vaccinated, there are also practical steps we can all take that reduce the likelihood of catching or spreading the flu,” Dr Carroll said.

"Steps such as staying at home when sick, covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, washing hands, seeing a GP or calling a nurse for free on 13 HEALTH, and getting vaccinated all reduce the risk.”


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