Cold and Flu: Prevent and Control

Below are our key tips to help protect and control you and your family against cold and flu, these tips also will help protect you against COVID-19, and should be practised at all times.

1. Get a flu shot

Having a flu vaccination each autumn is the single best way to prevent seasonal influenza.

A seasonal flu vaccination will:

  • Help reduce the possibility of getting BOTH the seasonal and Avian Flu
  • Boost your immunity which will help you in the event of a flu pandemic

The Australian Government’s Immunise program provides the flu vaccine for free if:

  • Anyone 65 years or older
  • Pregnant women
  • Indigenous people aged 15 years or older
  • Kooris and Torres Strait Islanders aged 50 years or older
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • Anyone aged over 6 months with a condition such as heart disease, chronic respiratory disease, kidney disease, diabetes, impaired immunity and chronic neuromuscular disease

The New Zealand Government’s Immunise program provides the flu vaccine for free if:

  • Pregnant women (any trimester)
  • People aged 65 years and older
  • People aged under 65 years with a condition such as heart disease, chronic respiratory disease, kidney disease, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune conditions and other chronic diseases as listed on
  • Children aged 4 years or under who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness or have a history of significant respiratory illness

2. Wash your hands often

  • Use soap and warm, running water
  • Keep fingers pointing down under the water
  • Rub hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds
  • Dry hands completely using a fresh towel
  • Use a hand sanitizer if you do not have access to wash your hands

3. Cover your mouth

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a NEW tissue every time you cough or sneeze
  • If you don’t have a tissue then sneeze or cough into your elbow
  • Remember… when an infected person breathes, talks, coughs or sneezes, thousands of tiny particles containing droplet nuclei are expelled into the air. The virus spreads by these droplets

4. Avoid touching your face

  • Germs spread when a person touches something contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth
  • Flu virus needs to enter the body and get to the lungs in order to reproduce. If it stays on your hands it won’t hurt you, however, if you touch your eyes you give the virus a route to enter the body

5. Practice work-related hygiene

At work (or home) – it’s a good idea to:

  • Keep disinfectant wipes and gels handy. Use as appropriate
  • Disinfect hard surfaces such as phones, desks and computer keyboards
  • Ensure rubbish bins have removable plastic liners
  • If not – consider using a disinfectant spray

6. Stay home if you are sick

Do not come to work if you have:

  • Chills, shivering and fever (>37.8°)
  • Sore throat
  • Onset of muscle aches and pains
  • Dry cough
  • Trouble breathing
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Tiredness

When you are sick or think you may have been exposed to someone who is sick, ensure you keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

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