Winter is coming. Medical professionals are bracing for the worst-case scenario of a potentially overloaded public health system by patients infected by both influenza and coronavirus. We can protect ourselves and the community by removing the influenza factor with a vaccine.
Medical and scientific experts have closely studied influenza since the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic that took more than 50 million lives worldwide.
According to the Influenza Specialist Group formed by medical and scientific experts from Australia and New Zealand, Australian cases of influenza generally cause 1,500 to 3000 deaths each year.
Coronavirus, on the other hand, is a relatively unknown new virus with no vaccine. Many of those infected are asymptomatic silent carriers. The death rate increases for those aged over 50 with the over 80 age group being the most vulnerable.
Dr Chris Moy, Australian Medical Association’s South Australian branch president is urging seniors to get their flu shots as the public health system prepares for an influx of COVID-19 patients.
Somebody who’s severely affected by COVID or severely affected by influenza would be greatly affected and therefore very sick and basically their whole constitution and immune system would be down after the first infection and then they would get the other infection that would be far more likely to cause serious consequence including death for a large number of people.
People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others and gatherings are limited to two people unless you are with your family or household.
If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor (don’t visit) or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.
SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus