The state’s first flu report (FluTAS) shows there have been fewer cases of the flu to April 30 this year than the same time last year. This indicates that Tasmanians still have time to get vaccinated before this year’s flu season hits.
Many thousands of Tasmanians have already received their 2018 flu vaccine through their GP, pharmacist or other providers.
I encourage all Tasmanians to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones, with this year’s flu season expected from about July to October.
Flu vaccine is free to protect Tasmanians at greater risk of severe flu complications:
* all children aged six months to under five
* anyone aged 65 and over
* Indigenous people
* pregnant women
* adults and children from six months of age with chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney diseases, diabetes, cancers, impaired immunity and neuromuscular conditions.
People in these groups should see their GP to receive the appropriate free vaccine for their age group. GPs may charge for the consultation.
There have been 89 laboratory-confirmed flu cases reported to April 30 this year, compared to 139 at the same time last year. The five-year average to April 30 is 73 notifications.
Fifty-three Tasmanians were confirmed with flu in the South, 19 in the North and 16 in the North-West. One overseas visitor was diagnosed in this period.
Flu notifications are based on positive laboratory tests but most people with flu-like illness don’t get tested so these confirmed cases represent only a small proportion of flu in the community.
The monthly FluTAS reports keep Tasmanians up to date on the severity or otherwise of this year’s flu season.
Visit www.flu.tas.gov.au for FluTAS Reports and more flu information.