Influenza prevention key for community health

AUTUMN is upon us, which means the warmer days of summer are now gone and we are starting to prepare ourselves for the colder months ahead.

For many parents, this change in season results in children with coughs, colds and constant runny noses.

And when parents and carers inevitably catch the illness, you’ll often hear the words, “I’ve got the flu”.

However, for most people, this is really just a case of the common cold. So, what actually is the flu?

“Patients with a genuine case of flu (influenza) are often out of action for seven to 10 days and feel like they’re dying,” Glebe Hill Family Practice (GHFP) general practitioner Dr Gianni Fantini said.

“Influenza is a highly communicable illness that has a significant and detrimental impact on workplaces and on people’s daily lives – so, who can afford to be bedridden for a week or more?”

With the view that prevention is key, the GHFP ethos is centred on keeping people healthy and preventing illness, chronic disease and hospital admissions.

GHFP owner Dr Alice Frampton said that encouraging patients to have an influenza vaccination was an important part of illness prevention for individuals and the community as a whole.

“We are already seeing cases of Influenza, with confirmed influenza A cases in the last couple of weeks,” she said.

GHFP now has available four-strain 2017 influenza vaccines, which are suitable for people aged 18-years and older.

Vaccines suitable for younger people will be available from mid-April.

Some patients may also be eligible for government funded (no cost to patient) influenza vaccinations. Visit ghfp.com.au to check eligibility.

To schedule a flu vaccination or other appointment with Dr Fantini, Dr Frampton or Dr Ratnagobal, book online at ghfp.com.au or phone 6169 0000 during business hours.

Caption: Glebe Hill Family Practice general practitioner Dr Gianni Fantini is urging Tasmanians to get their flu shots ahead of the winter season.