The number of influenza cases have continued to rise over the last two weeks, the Department of Health suggesting the worst is still to come.
Just last week Gold Coast sportsman Liam Enese died from the effects of pneumonia, one of the unusually large numbers of Queensland teens to fall victim to the illness this season.
Anaesthetic Technician at the Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital, Holly Marrable, believes the key to avoiding infection is basic hygiene.
“To prevent infection people need to wash their hands before eating or touching their face,” Ms Marrable said.
“Getting an annual flu shot is also a good preventative measure to take.”
The influx of cases comes as a result of the cold weather affecting our immune system; drying out protective mucus membranes in the nose and making us more susceptible to the common and cold and flu.
“The flu virus survives longer in low humidity,” Ms Marrable said.
“During winter people also spend a lot more time indoors, where close contact with people makes it easier for the virus to spread.”
Anyone who thinks they may be suffering from pneumonia should see their local GP immediately.