There have been
66 confirmed deaths of people aged over 60 years from flu-related complications
since the beginning of the year, including nine deaths in the past week.
Director of Communicable Diseases, Dr Vicky Sheppeard, said there have been 26
influenza outbreaks in aged-care facilities just this week and unwell visitors
are potentially putting loved ones at risk.
“Elderly people often have chronic or complex conditions
that are aggravated by influenza. While
we acknowledge the importance of visiting family members and friends in
aged-care facilities, if you are unwell with the flu we are asking people to
stay home and minimise contact with other people if possible, until you have
recovered,” Dr Sheppeard said.
been 112 confirmed influenza outbreaks in aged-care facilities, including the
26 which were reported this week. The elderly
are highly vulnerable to influenza and the flu jab is critical to reducing the
risk of visitors catching the virus and bringing it into aged-care homes.”
“It is not too
late to get vaccinated, we want to remind people that the flu vaccine is still
the best protection so please take advantage of the free jab.”
Surveillance Report shows there were 5422 flu cases for the week
ending 30 June, 805 more notifications than the previous week, taking the
yearly total to 36,342.
providers are required by the Commonwealth to offer a vaccination program for
their staff each year.
new cases of the flu do arise, we encourage all aged-care facilities to contact
the local public health unit so NSW Health can help manage any outbreak.”
Flu shots are
free under the National Immunisation Program for pregnant women, people over 65
years of age, Aboriginal people and those with medical conditions such as
asthma, diabetes and heart problems. So far this year, 2.42 million
government-funded influenza vaccines have been distributed to providers across
Government invested about $130 million in the 2018-19 Immunisation Program
budget, including Commonwealth and state vaccines and is spending a record
$22.75 million on state-wide immunisation programs which will assist with flu
prevention this season. This includes $2.6 million for free flu shots to
children up to five years of age and a $1.5 million immunisation and influenza