The number of flu cases in the region remain low, as the 2018 season starts on a low-key note.
NSW Health reporting cases are significantly down compared to the same period last year.
In the Murrumbidgee region, the flu statistics are stable, with just one confirmed case reported in the week ending May 27, and none at all in the following week.
However, it is still early in the flu season, which does not peak until July-August or even later, according to Murrumbidgee Local Health District public health unit director Tracey Oakman.
Jeremy McAnulty from NSW Health, said the Influenza Surveillance Weekly Report shows just 82 confirmed flu cases for the week ending May 27, compared to 255 in 2017 and lower than the previous week’s tally of 91.
“We’re off to a good start to winter, but it’s important people maintain healthy hygiene habits – coughing and sneezing into their elbow, washing hands regularly and saying home when sick – to ward of flu and other viruses,” Dr McAnulty said.
The NSW Government is spending a record $22.75 million on state-wide immunisation programs in 2017-18.
This includes $3.5 million for free flu shots to children up to five years of age and a $1.75 million immunisation and influenza prevention campaign.
Dr McAnulty said national supply of vaccines under the National Immunisation Program remained tight, but NSW Health is continuing to closely manage the distribution of Commonwealth vaccines across the state so they can be given to those who need them.
“We’re pleased the Commonwealth Government has sourced additional vaccines from overseas and we expect some will arrive in NSW shortly,” he said.
“Our State supply of vaccines for children under five years is available state-wide and we encourage parents to take up this offer for a free vaccine.