Dr Jeremy McAnulty, Director Health Protection NSW
Health, said the Influenza Surveillance Weekly Report shows just 91 confirmed flu cases for the week ending 20 May, compared
to 179 this time last year.
“So far there is no indication of an early start to the flu season which
is great news but people shouldn’t be complacent as we have seen a rise in some
respiratory infections,” Dr McAnulty said.
“We’re encouraging people to maintain healthy hygiene habits – such as
coughing and sneezing into your elbow and washing your hands regularly - to
help ward off these viruses, including flu.”
McAnulty said NSW Health has distributed around two million doses of influenza
vaccines to date, around half a million more than in 2017, despite shortages of
some Commonwealth-supplied vaccines.
Health is continuing to work closely with the Australian Department of Health
to manage supplies provided under the National Immunisation Program following
national vaccine shortages.
“While supply is tight from the Commonwealth and deliveries restricted,
we still urge people to call ahead to their GP or pharmacy to check
they hold the right vaccine for them and get their jab.”
NSW Government is spending a record $22.75 million on state-wide immunisation
programs in 2017-18. This includes $3.5 million for free flu shots to children
up to five years of age and a $1.75 million immunisation and influenza
can assure the community the state program of flu vaccines for children aged
under five years is continuing and we urge parents to take up the offer of the
free vaccine for this age group,” Dr McAnulty said.
NSW Health will continue to closely
monitor flu case numbers and will issue an Influenza Surveillance Weekly
Report every Friday to keep the community up to date on influenza activity.
following good hygiene habits help prevent the spread of influenza and other
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow
- Clean your hands regularly
- Stay home when sick.
The Influenza Surveillance Weekly Report can be viewed on the NSW Health website.