COVID-19 restrictions have resulted in a meagre number of reported flu cases in Ipswich this year, with just one case this month in what is usually peak flu season.
COVID-19 restrictions have resulted in a meagre number of reported flu cases in Ipswich this year, with just one case this month in what is usually peak flu season.

How precautions have dramatically impacted flu numbers

COVID-19 restrictions and precautions have resulted in a meagre number of reported flu cases in Ipswich this year, with just one case this month in what is usually peak flu season.

West Moreton Health has recorded 292 influenza cases this year, compared with 2904 over the same period last year.

Most cases were reported in the first three months of the year before the coronavirus outbreak.

West Moreton Health's public health physician Dr Catherine Quagliotto said since mid-March there have been just 35 reported cases, including just one in August.

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"We have seen a dramatic difference in the number of reported influenza cases in West Moreton in 2020, compared with previous years," she said.

"This is an experience that is being reflected across the state and it is likely the preventive measures put in place to combat COVID-19 have also helped reduce transmission of other infectious diseases, like influenza.

"Just like COVID-19, influenza is easily spread by an infected person through the droplets from their cough or sneeze."

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Dr Quagliotto said vaccinating against the flu is the best defence and anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should immediately get tested.

"Infection prevention strategies, including regularly washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitiser, avoiding touching your face, staying home when you are sick and physical distancing, are just as effective at reducing influenza transmission as COVID-19," she said.

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.



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