Protect yourself and those around you this winter
Stay home if you are sick
Protect yourself and those around you. If you have cold or flu symptoms, don’t be a hero – stay home and avoid exposing vulnerable people (like young children and older people) to illness.
If your child has cold or flu symptoms (e.g. coughing, sneezing, fever), they should be kept home from school or childcare.
For more information visit the Flu symptoms, treatment and prevention page.
Wash, Wipe, Cover
Did you know hands spread 80% of common infectious diseases?
The influenza (flu) virus, and other potentially harmful airborne illnesses that flourish in winter remain present on hard surfaces for 24 to 48 hours and tissues for only 15 minutes. In winter, low air temperatures mean that droplets of the virus can remain airborne for far longer.
Being struck down with a cold, the flu or gastroenteritis is unpleasant and disruptive.
You can reduce the risk of getting sick or passing infections on to others by following these simple rules:
- WASH your hands regularly
- WIPE down frequently touched surfaces
- COVER your coughs and sneezes
For more information visit the Wash, Wipe, Cover page.
Be aware of the infection radius
Keep at least one metre between you and people who have flu-like symptoms.
The infectious period for flu time during which an infected person can infect others) is usually from 1 day before symptoms appear until 7 days after symptoms appear. After 5 days, the level of infectiousness is probably very low, however some people, especially children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others for a longer time.
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a highly infectious viral illness caused by influenza A or B viruses. It affects the nose and throat and may also affect the lungs.
Influenza is much more serious than the common cold. It can lead to pneumonia and other complications, and can be fatal. For more information see Flu symptoms, treatment and prevention.
In 2017 in South Australia 124 people died of flu-related complications and over 28 000 suffered from confirmed cases of the illness.
People aged 65 years and over, pregnant women, young children (6 months to less than 5 years of age), people with chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease, and Aboriginal Australians (6 months of age and over) are particularly vulnerable. These groups are all able to access free influenza vaccinations in South Australia. Protect yourself and your family – get vaccinated. For more information visit the SA Health Flu Information page.
Influenza vaccines reduce the risk of getting influenza, and reduce the severity of influenza. As immunity from vaccination decreases over time, and the influenza virus is constantly changing, the vaccines are altered each year to provide protection against currently circulating strains of the virus, therefore vaccination is required every year.
- If you have cold or flu symptoms, don’t be a hero – stay home and avoid exposing vulnerable people to illness.
- Maintain a balanced diet – get your recommended two and five serves of fruit and vegetables every day.
- Stay hydrated – drink at least 1.5 litres of water per day and ensure you increase this when exercising.
- Get at least ten minutes of physical activity every day.
- Get seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
- Encourage your colleagues and friends to be safe this winter – download our Winter Wellness resources here.
Keeping well in winter tips
Visit the Resources page to download Winter Wellness resources for your home, office, school or business.