Early cases of flu double

West Moreton Health is urging people to get their flu vaccinations as recorded cases increase. Picture: FILE

West Moreton residents are advised to take up the offer of a free flu vaccination after early indications suggest we might be in for a big flu season.

More than 400 confirmed cases of influenza have been reported in West Moreton this year, which is more than double the rate typically reported by early April.

The flu season typically begins in May, peaks in August and ends in October.

West Moreton Public Health Unit Dr Penny Hutchinson said now was the best time to get vaccinated.

“Influenza has a big impact on individuals and it also places a strain on emergency health services,” she said.

Vaccination is the best way to protect against flu, and early vaccination can protect you before cases in the community start to rise.

Practicing good hygiene habits, such as washing hands regularly and staying home when you’re sick will also work to reduce transmission and infection of respiratory and winter illnesses.

Flu is more than an annual nuisance.

It can cause very serious illness in otherwise healthy people.

For young children, the elderly and people burdened with other illnesses, flu can lead to hospitalisation and even death.

People most at risk are:

-babies and young children under 5 years of age

-people aged 65 years and older

-pregnant people, at any stage of pregnancy

-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 6 months of age and older

-People 6 months of age and older with a medical condition or disability which increases their risk of severe influenza and its complications

Free flu vaccination is available at GPs, pharmacies or vaccination providers from now until 30 September 2024.

You can even have the flu vaccine at the same time as other recommended vaccines such as whooping cough and COVID-19.