5 Jul 2015

Winter flu takes hold

10:35 am on 5 July 2015

The annual surge in winter flu cases has begun, but the news isn't all bad; A specialist says the strains going around are matching the vaccine on offer this year.

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Dr Nikki Turner says people wanting a flu vaccine should hurry, as it can take up to two weeks to begin protecting them. Photo: 123rf

The Director of the Immunisation Advisory Centre at Auckland University, Dr Nikki Turner, said vaccine makers have done a good job of predicting the flus people would need protection from.

"Many people are aware that in the northern hemisphere last winter the strain match was not very good," she said.

"The New Zealand vaccine this year has changed two components of it, and the flu that we are starting to see this winter looks like the strains are likely to be well matched to the vacinne we have been using this year."

The latest weekly snapshot of public health surveillence said 83 viruses were identified.

So far, The Bay of Plenty, Wairarapa and Hawke's Bay have been hit the hardest, with the snapshot report showing those regions recorded the highest number of GP visits for flu-like illnesses.

The snapshot also reported that 83 viruses were identified.

Dr Turner said people wanting a flu vaccine shot should get to their doctor fast, because it can take up to two weeks to begin protecting them.

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