It’s that time of the year again when influenza (the flu) is back. Temperatures on the Sunshine Coast are dropping to winter levels, which is when we usually see a rise in cold and flu infections.

To prevent infection, take care, and be aware of simple steps you can take to avoid the flu virus.

Influenza, better known as the ‘flu’, is highly contagious, and can spread and infect people up to two metres away. The micro droplets carrying the virus are mostly spread by coughing, sneezing or even talking to others. Nearby people could risk breathing the droplets into their lungs, thereby becoming infected. The infection can also be spread if a person touches a surface with live flu virus on it (for example, door handles), then touches their nose or mouth. 

Signs and symptoms that can indicate flu are:

  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Dry cough
  • Sneezing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Extreme tiredness and exhaustion

People may be infectious a day prior to having any obvious symptoms, so it may be difficult to keep the virus from spreading. The main way to reduce your risk of becoming infected is to get yourself vaccinated.

The 2018 National Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Program has commenced and people in at-risk groups, such as asthmatics, diabetics, infants, and the over-65s, are now able to go to their doctor and get the flu shot for free.

Flu vaccines can reduce the risk of developing severe influenza (the flu). The vaccine is required each year, as the flu virus is constantly evolving. Many work places offer staff a flu shot as part of their duty of care for the employee’s heath, and to maintain productivity in the work place.

Other risk reduction strategies are to wash your hands regularly, limit your contact with people who may be coughing or sneezing, and avoid touching your nose or mouth with your hands. If you think you have the flu, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing and sneezing, and stay away from school or work, so that you don’t spread the infection to others.

Hands are unavoidable carriers of infection - you use hands for everything in daily life -  so it is most important to wash your hands carefully and frequently throughout the day with hot or warm soapy water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitisers. Hand washing is especially important:

·         before eating or preparing food

·         after sneezing or coughing (always cough or sneeze into a tissue then immediately dispose of it in a waste bin)

·         after going to the toilet

·         on returning home after being out where you could have touched surfaces (such as door handles, supermarket trolley handles, handrails, chair backs) carrying viruses and bacteria from infected people.

Allens Training Sunshine Coast encourages CPR and First Aid course participants to assess their health before attending their scheduled courses, and if feeling at all unwell, call or email the Sunshine Coast office. Allens Training staff will be happy to reschedule your booking to another day for no charge. We want you to be well so that you can fully participate in your course, and absorb and practise the learning that will allow you to be competent and confident in an emergency requiring a first aid response.

Provide First Aid courses are run regularly at our Birtinya training centre, and from 22 May 2018, will be run weekly in Maroochydore. To book into your next first aid course, please book online via our secure website or phone 07 5438 8888.

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Birtinya QLD 4575


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ACN 114 756 857