Protecting yourself and others
For some people, influenza can be a very serious illness. The basic measures to protect yourself and others remain the same, but are more important as we see more influenza circulating in the community:
know the symptoms of influenza, which can include a high fever, headache, cough, sore throat, tiredness and generally aching all over
phone for medical advice quickly (call your GP or Healthline on 0800 611 116) if you have influenza-like symptoms, including consideration of whether you need antiviral medicine treatment. Antiviral medication may lessen the severity and length of your illness, but is best started within the first 48 hours. Antiviral medication is available but it is not free on prescription from a health professional or over the counter at a pharmacy.
seeking early medical advice is especially important for women who are pregnant, severely overweight people and those with underlying medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, cancer, heart and lung disease and other conditions including autoimmune diseases
wash and dry hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes and stay home if you are sick.
If you haven't yet been immunised, it's important to book in to get immunised now, as it takes up to a fortnight for the vaccine to offer its full level of protection. Young children also need a longer time as they require two doses a month apart to be assured of best protection. Immunisation is especially recommended for those at greatest risk of complications from H1N1 influenza, including women who are pregnant, very young children, severely overweight people and those with underlying medical conditions.
More information can be found on the Ministry of Health's Influenza web pages.
Influenza vaccinations available
Health advice and informationMedical officers of health still ask that people be aware of the dangers of seasonal influenza and practice good cough and sneeze etiquette, social distancing when unwell and good hand hygiene.
Precautions remain: anyone with an influenza-like illness, who developed symptoms within seven days of travel to a country of concern, should call their general practitioner or the medical officers of health immediately.
On-call health protection officer (021 999 521), on-call medical officer of health (021 359 650), or Healthline 0800 611 116.
Preparedness for your organisationPlease ensure you have a pandemic plan in place in your business/organisations. If you do have an existing plan, now is the time to review and discuss it with staff and stakeholders.
For more information on planning for a pandemic go to www.moh.govt.nz/pandemicinfluenza
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