TAKE CARE: Chemist Warehouse staff member Georgia Wheat recommends products when you're feeling ill.
TAKE CARE: Chemist Warehouse staff member Georgia Wheat recommends products when you're feeling ill. Rhylea Millar

What you need to know: Inside Bundy's horror flu season

FEVERS turn to chills, nose turns a bright shade of red, husky sounding voice, bins filled to the brim with tissues.

These are just a few of the influenza symptoms that the people of Bundaberg are experiencing right now.

Queensland Health's lab results from earlier this month indicate there has already been a significant increase compared to last year, with a total of 299 notifications across the region this year.

Local business The House of Marah believes we have the power to decrease spreading the flu by taking simple and effective precautions.

"If you're unwell this week and you still need to make your lash appointment, don't hesitate to ask for a mask - we will be wearing one too," the beauty business posted on their Facebook page. "As we work close to your face, it is important to be truthful so we can assure germs are least spread as possible."

Doctor certificates, vaccinations and a range of products are available at most Chemist Warehouses, with Bundaberg's pharmacy manager Graham Bunter saying flu-like symptoms occurred earlier than usual this year.

"We did at least 1300 injections between April and May," Mr Bunter said. "We just got 300 more vaccinations in stock. I think we will go through a fair few more."

Wide Bay Public Health Physician Dr Margaret Young confirmed this week has seen a rise in influenza cases across the region.

However, she said this is common at the beginning of winter and believes it's too early to identify the cause as the dreaded flu season, but urged the community to get vaccinated before it hits.

"The most effective defence against influenza is vaccination and the rise in notification numbers is a timely reminder that now is the time to be vaccinated to ensure protection before the typical peak of the influenza season," she said.

"A number of at risk groups are able to access a free publicly funded vaccine and should talk to their GP or another vaccine provider about receiving their vaccination."

Whilst the vaccination is the best preventative measure against the flu, Dr Young stressed the importance of maintaining hygiene by washing hands with soap and water or alcohol-based gel, using a tissue or the inside of your arm to sneeze or cough and to stay at home or keep a safe distance from others when sick.

Call 13 HEALTH, if you have a fever, experience shortness or breath or your symptoms are severe.



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