Flu can spread quickly when large numbers of people are in close contact, such as at school, childcare centres, university, sport and social events.

Protect your family

  • The best way to protect your family is get a flu shot.
  • If you have a child aged 6 months or over, you are strongly encouraged to vaccinate them against flu this season.
  • Flu in children, especially those aged 5 and under, can cause serious illness.
  • Given the low exposure to flu over the last two years, children (particularly those under 2 years) may be more vulnerable to catching flu this year.
  • Children under 5 years are most likely to spread flu and suffer complications.
  • Flu shots are free for pregnant womenchildren under 5 years old Aboriginal people and medically at risk.
  • Talk to your doctor early if you are worried about someone's illness.

Simple steps can help you and your family stop the spread of flu.

Get a flu shot

Get a flu shot now, especially if you're in a high risk group or live with someone who is.

Vaccinations are available from your general practitioner, some local pharmacies or Aboriginal Medical Service. We recommend you call ahead to make sure your practice is vaccinating on the day you want to visit.

All NSW children aged from six months to under five years of age are eligible for free influenza shots. For further information, read more about this immunisation initiative or refer to the review of the scientific evidence around influenza vaccination for young children.

Stay at home if sick

Keep sick children away from school and other activities.

If you are sick with flu, stay at home and avoid close contact with other people to prevent them from also becoming sick.

This is especially important if you visit people who are more likely to get really sick if they get the flu - including pregnant women, infants, older people or people in hospital or residential aged care.

See the influenza fact sheet on how you can manage flu this winter or Influenza - If your child is sick for advice on what to do if your child gets sick.

Sneeze into your elbow

Sneezing into your elbow instead of your hands can help stop the spread of flu. Did you know a sneeze can travel 1-2 metres and a single sneeze droplet may contain 200,000,000 individual virus particles?

Clean your hands

Regularly wash your hands with soap for at least 10 seconds or use a hand sanitiser - a flu virus can survive on unwashed hands for at least 30 minutes and up to two days on other surfaces.

Get involved in tracking flu

Join FluTracking to help track flu near you and across Australia in collaboration with over 20,000 other FluTrackers. It only takes 10 seconds per week and you receive a weekly report and map of flu activity.

FluTracking is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and operated by the University of Newcastle.


Current as at: Tuesday 6 September 2022
Contact page owner: Communicable Diseases