Australian Influenza Surveillance Report - fortnight ending 26 August 2018.

Although the flu season is coming to an end it pays to be vigilant. Healthdirect has a succinct article on 6 ways to fight the flu, and below is the latest influenza surveillance report …. this year seems to have been a “normal” year.

 PHOTO: Influenza A virus H3N2, part of the Vivid Sydney installation Beautiful and Dangerous. (Source: CSIRO) http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-28/virus-1/9807346

PHOTO: Influenza A virus H3N2, part of the Vivid Sydney installation Beautiful and Dangerous. (Source: CSIRO) http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-28/virus-1/9807346

  • Activity –Person to person transmission of influenza and influenza-like illness (ILI) in the community is low and remains within or below the bounds of previous years. Rhinovirus was the most common respiratory virus detected in patients presenting with ILI to sentinel general practices this fortnight.

  • Severity –Clinical severity for the season to date, as measured through the proportion of patients admitted directly to ICU, and deaths attributed to influenza, is low.

  • Impact – Currently, the impact of circulating influenza on society is low.

  • Virology – This fortnight, the majority of confirmed influenza cases reported nationally were influenza A (85%).

Healthdirect has a succinct article on 6 ways to fight the flu

  • Get a flu shot - It is important to get the influenza vaccination each year to continue to be protected, since it wears off after 3 to 4 months. Flu strains (types) also change over time.

  • Wash your hands - In addition to vaccination, good hygiene is one of the best ways to help prevent colds and flu from spreading. Wash your hands regularly.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes - Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

  • Bin your tissues - Throw disposable tissues in the bin immediately after using them.

  • Avoid sharing - Don't share cups, plates, cutlery and towels with other people, if you can.

  • Keep surfaces clean - Clean surfaces such as your keyboard, telephone and door handles regularly to get rid of germs.

  • Self-care at home - In most cases you can treat mild cold or flu symptoms at home.

NOTE: Antibiotics won't help - Antibiotics do not reduce symptoms of colds and flu as these illnesses are caused by viruses. Antibiotics only work for bacterial infections.

Staff often still come to work when they are sick. They infect others on public transport on the way in to work, infect their colleagues at the office and then again on the way home. Actively encourage your staff to stay home when they are sick. It’s good for business continuity!