Taranaki residents still need to be wary of influenza

25 October 2013

Taranaki residents still need to be wary of influenza, advises Taranaki DHB Chief Medical Advisor Dr Greg Simmons.

“While Taranaki has seen a relatively mild influenza season, there are currently two people who have been hospitalised recently due to complications from influenza H1N1,” he says.

Dr Simmons says that influenza is a potentially serious viral infection – much worse than a cold. Complications of the illness can last for weeks, can confine you to bed and can even cause death.  Symptoms include sore throat, cough, fever, muscle and joint pain.

“The problem with the influenza is that it can cause severe illness for those people with underlying health issues," says Dr Simmons.

“People in the community who are pregnant, older people, and people of any age with health conditions such as heart disease, strokes, diabetes, respiratory disease (including asthma), kidney disease and most cancers, are at higher risk of more severe influenza and its complications.”

While the best protection from influenza is to be immunised there are some other ways to protect yourself and those around you from influenza:

  • Covering your coughs and sneezes
  • Washing and drying your hands thoroughly and regularly
  • Staying away from people who are sick with influenza-like illness
  • Staying away from work or school if you’re unwell.

”If you feel very unwell or have significant symptoms of influenza it is important to seek medical help early as treatment is available that can reduce the severity of the illness.”


Influenza Symptoms

Cold Symptoms

Sudden onset of illness. Moderate to severe illness lasting 7-10 days

Mild illness

Fever (usually high)

Mild fever

Headache (may be severe)

Mild headache (congested sinuses)

Dry cough may become moist

Sometimes a cough

Muscle aches

Muscle aches uncommon


A runny nose

Bed rest necessary


Can suffer severe complications (e.g. pneumonia)



For more information please call

Sue Carrington
Media Adviser
Ph 021 367 789

Last updated: Friday, October 25, 2013

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