Queensland’s Health Minister is urging Gold Coast residents to get their flu jabs as the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service braces for another flu season.
Gold Coast mum Courtney Potts knows too well how serious the flu can be, after an emergency visit to Robina Hospital with her daughter Maddison, who was two years old at the time.
“We were away on holiday and Maddy kept having little coughing fits and stopped eating. She just wasn’t herself and had high temps, so we came back home. Maddie went downhill quickly though, began vomiting and was almost unresponsive,” Ms Potts said.
“As soon as a rash developed, we went to Robina Hospital and they took us straight in to a private room. They gave Maddie antibiotics and vaccinations straight away and took swabs on the spot.
“Everyone was amazing, especially as it was New Year’s Eve. We were transferred via ambulance to Gold Coast University Hospital where we stayed for two nights.”
Children’s Emergency Department Staff Specialist Dr Graham Jay said Maddie’s story illustrated just how serious the flu can be, particularly in the very young.
“Flu is serious viral illness. It is not the same as a common cold and can lead to serious complications, particularly in the very young, elderly and people with complex chronic diseases,” said Dr Jay.
“Each year, the impact of the flu is significant in our community, and we see that reflected in the increase in presentations to our hospitals during flu season.
“Nearly 450 people have been admitted to hospital with influenza since last April, with more than 30 of those requiring ICU admissions.”
Minister Miles encouraged Gold Coasters to arrange to have their free vaccines as soon as possible.
“Flu viruses change frequently, which is why it’s so important for Queenslanders to get vaccinated every year,” Mr Miles said.
“While it’s never too late to vaccinate for influenza, I urge Gold Coasters not to delay in having their flu jab.”