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The flu has already arrived in the Southern district and residents are urged to get the flu vaccination to protect themselves, their families and the community against the virus.
“We typically see more flu cases in July, but this year the flu has arrived much earlier with a high number of cases,” says Southern DHB Medical Officer of Health, Dr Susan Jack.
“The flu vaccine is now available from your general practice or pharmacy and is the best protection against the virus. The vaccine can take up to two weeks to start protecting you so people should really get in now and urge their loved ones to do the same.”
Although symptoms start similarly to the common cold, they tend to be more severe and last for longer. Flu symptoms include a sudden high temperature, headache, general aches and pains, tiredness and a sore throat. They can make you feel so exhausted and unwell that you have to stay in bed and rest until you feel better.
The flu vaccine is free for New Zealanders at high risk of complications – pregnant women, people aged 65 and over, and people of any age with long-term health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease (including serious asthma), kidney disease and most cancers.
To find out if you are eligible for a free vaccination, or for other information, talk to your family doctor or practice nurse. You can also find out more by visiting www.fightflu.co.nz
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