Questions and Answers


Questions and Answers

What if someone in my family gets the flu?

Keep them at home if they are sick and try and keep them away from the rest of the household.

If you have concerns about your flu symptoms contact your General Practice team first, or if it is an emergency call 111.

Be prepared
If you need to look after your family at home you will need:

  • Enough food and drink to last for a week.
  • People with the flu need to have plenty of fluids, such as water or diluted fruit juice.
  • Paracetamol to manage fever and pain which is available from pharmacies or supermarkets.
  • Tissues (or toilet paper) and plastic bags for used tissues.

Finally, don't wait until someone gets sick to get your supplies in!

Download this useful guide about how to manage at home with the flu

Guide in other languages [Arabic, Chinese,Japanese,Korean, Samoan]

Why has the Canterbury DHB made free vaccinations available to under 18s again this year?
Evidence suggests people aged over 65 years and aged under 18 years are most susceptible to influenza. Under 18s are also very social and less inclined to keep coughs and sneezes to themselves, or wash their hands as well and as often as they should. They are effective spreaders of germs, often introducing infection to a family.  By extending free vaccinations to under 18s, the whole Canterbury community will be protected because it will be harder for flu to spread. The number in the community affected by flu could be halved if just 20 percent of under 18s are vaccinated this season.

The vaccine is already free to pregnant women, anyone aged over 65 years and those with a chronic health problem.

Why should I get the flu vaccine if it's not free for me too?
Over and above the free flu vaccinations offered to certain groups of people by Canterbury District Health Board, many Canterbury businesses offer the vaccine free to their employees and it is also free to all health care workers. Cantabrians are encouraged to take up the opportunity to get the vaccine whatever way it is offered as it's so important we all try and stay healthy this winter, particularly given that living conditions for many of us have changed, increasing the impact of flu and the chances of developing complications from it. Having the flu vaccine is a smart step towards taking responsibility for your own health as well as that of your family.

How is the flu vaccination linked to earthquake recovery and rebuild?
Free flu vaccinations are one of the main tactics that the Canterbury District Health Board is using to reduce pressure on Canterbury Hospitals.

Apart from the vaccination, how else can I protect myself and my family against the flu?
Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap (or alcohol-based rub) and dry your hands well:

  • After coughing and blowing your nose
  • After using the toilet
  • Before you prepare food and eat
  • When you are looking after sick people

Sick people should be encouraged to stay away from those who are well.

Try not to touch your mouth, nose, ears and eyes - or if you do, wash your hands straightaway.

Clean telephones, door handles or other frequently-touched surfaces with disinfectant as the flu virus can live up to 48 hours on surfaces.

Cover your coughs and sneezes with your sleeve, or with a tissue and put it straight in a bin.

One way to avoid catching or spreading influenza in public places is to use an alcohol-based hand rub frequently if one is available, particularly after touching one of those frequently touched surfaces such as handrails and door handles.