WARNING: Killer flu is reason to stay away

PEOPLE who are feeling unwell or have flu symptoms are being urged to stay away from aged care communities or facilities where they could spread the infection.

Christian care organisation Carinity is urging people who feel unwell or have flu symptoms to not visit aged care communities or other places where they could spread the infection.

The start to this influenza season has seen a high level of flu cases causing numerous fatalities around Australia, particularly in older people.

Already at least 54 Australians have died from influenza, three-quarters of which have been aged 65 years and over.

Carinity executive manager of aged care, Valmae Dunlea, says people can help reduce the flu threat by having a flu vaccination shot, being alert to influenza symptoms and taking measures to stop the spread of the infection.

"If you feel unwell you are urged to not visit aged care communities or other places where you could spread the infection. Wash your hands often and diligently, particularly before or after contact with others," Valmae says.

"Everyone can play their part by helping to limit the impacts of this potentially fatal disease and safeguard our aged care residents and other older people in the community."

Carinity is urging its aged care residents, home care clients, retirement village residents and employees to have a vaccination shot to help safeguard themselves and others against the potentially deadly flu.

Carinity provided free flu vaccinations to employees including staff at its 11 aged care communities in Brisbane, Laidley, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Mt Morgan, Townsville, Gold Coast and Ipswich, and Home Care services in nine districts across Queensland.

"Vaccination is the most important measure available to prevent influenza. It is particularly important to be vaccinated if you spend time with older people as they are more susceptible to the virus," Carinity Home Care acting regional manager Janelle Heyse says.

"The more people who are vaccinated, the less likely that the flu will spread to others. It is important to get the flu shot each year, as there are new strands of influenza each flu season."



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