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It’s always a concern when a new virus shows its strength and resilience to vaccines and treatments. Another concern is uncertainty about whether the information the world is receiving from China is complete and accurate – we know the Chinese are proud and have been known in the past to cover up news which could damage their international pride.

So, just what is the risk of the Coronavirus in New Zealand? Well, no one knows that yet but closing the borders to people travelling from or transiting through China is a drastic step, especially when every week we do millions of dollars of trade with China. Companies will be hurting from it no doubt.

The symptoms of Coronavirus are identical to flu virus symptoms, i.e. headache, fever and body aches, so it’s time to think about protecting yourself and your family from both. While we can’t do much more than practice good hygiene for the Coronavirus, we can for influenza.

Those who have never had the flu are extremely lucky but that does not mean they are not at risk of ever getting it. Saying you have never had the flu so you don’t need a flu shot, is the same as saying you’ve never been in a car accident, so you don’t need to wear a seat belt!

In New Zealand, one in four people get the flu each year and about 500 people die from it each year. Yes, that is only in New Zealand. It’s around 80,000 deaths globally after around 1,000,000 hospitalised cases.

People who say they ‘got the flu from the flu shot’ are misinformed as the flu shot works by exposing the immune system to a dead version of the virus so our body can develop antibodies against it. It cannot infect us as it is already dead.

People who have had the flu are normally huge advocates of a flu jab, as they know how debilitating it can be. The flu shot may not always prevent the flu. However, studies show it will help to reduce the severity of it.

We are all concerned about what the Coronavirus will do and where it will spread, but let us also remember the common flu and get immunised against it now while there’s plenty available.

Life Care can come to your workplace and administer the vaccinations, drastically reducing the risks for your staff and their families.

Ring 0800 493 559 to book your flu shots now.

Janet Brothers

Managing Director