Tairawhiti District Health Board members have been warning residents of Gisborne to be vigilant, concerned following huge outbreaks of influenza in other regions of New Zealand, says a recent report.
Gisborne general practice has reported some five cases of a particular flu strain in past weeks. The practice is launched under the national surveillance system, which is responsible for determining flu cases.
It has been told by Dr. Lance Jennings, a spokesman for National Influenza Specialist Group, that Christchurch has realized almost 60 hospitalizations because of the H3N2 strain. Since, the same is on rise at a fast pace and has caused some 12 people to be severely ill. It is thus that the Ministry of Health has been asking for getting vaccinations as soon as possible.
As per the report, the vaccine not only fights against the H3N2, but the strains of H1N1 and swine flu as well. Also, the same is being provided for free to terminally ill patients, Dr. Geoffrey Cramp has told. The medical officer of health has further said that pregnant women and elderly can also receive it for free.
Dr. Cramp has, in order to prevent any more spread, decided to extend the influenza vaccine programme until August end.