The flu can spread rapidly through workplaces, and having ill staff away from work can be costly and disruptive for business. Many people who get influenza might not have any symptoms, but can pass it on to others.
“Getting vaccinated is especially important for pregnant staff, or those who have an underlying condition that may make them more vulnerable to getting sick,” said Capital & Coast DHB interim chief executive Ashley Bloomfield.
The vaccine protects against four flu strains, including the ‘Aussie’ strain that has been severe in the US and other parts of the northern hemisphere.
It is available from GP practices, medical centres and pharmacies and is free for people most at risk from influenza – including those with diabetes, certain cardiovascular diseases, or transplant recipients.
“I support and fund influenza immunisation to help keep my staff well and keep our hospital and other services functioning throughout winter. I strongly encourage all employers to get themselves and their staff immunised.”
Other ways to prevent illness spreading in the workplace include enabling sick staff to be away from work, providing tissues, and promoting frequent hand-washing.
For more information visit www.rph.org.nz/public-health-topics/illness-and-disease/influenza/, www.rph.org.nz/public-health-topics/illness-and-disease/influenza/he4240-child-danger-signals-eng.pdf and www.fightflu.co.nz/sites/default/files/2018%20Flu%20Brochure.pdf.
Media contact: Chas Te Runa – 027 230 9571