Media Release

Australians to brace for one of the deadliest flu seasons on record!

  • One of Australia’s biggest killers, influenza, is on the rise.
  • Australians need to consider cover for sick leave or protection from worst case scenario
  • presents the top 10 tips for avoiding a run in with the flu

July 28, 2014, SYDNEY – One of Australia’s biggest comparison websites is warning Australians to brace for one of the deadliest flu seasons on record, following a spike in cases of influenza this winter.

According to research by of the Department of Health’s Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System data, there were 7,130 cases of the flu so far this winter (to July 28, 2014), which is almost double the number of cases in June-July 2013 (4,002).

With 4,960 flu cases reported this month so far, Michelle Hutchison, Money Expert at recommends Australians take cover against the flu during it’s dominant season.

“The flu is one of the biggest killers in Australia, with more people dying of influenza/pneumonia than on our roads. In fact, there were 2,719 flu-related deaths in Australia in 2012 – more than double the number of road deaths for the same year (1,310).

“The flu can be a costly disease for many families who need to take time off work to recover or for serious cases who don’t recover at all. So protecting your income and even taking out life insurance can make a big difference to your recovery and your family.”

Figures show 13,312 flu cases have been confirmed nationally so far this year, significantly higher than the 7,746 cases recorded between January and July 2013.

Mrs Hutchison urged those most at risk – the elderly, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions including asthma – to protect themselves with a flu vaccine.

“Having to take long periods of time off work can be a huge financial burden especially if the person who has fallen ill is the main bread winner. Income protection could be a great short-term solution for your sickness, which pays a monthly benefit worth up to 75 percent of your monthly gross income when you become disabled because of illness or injury. Alternatively life insurance protects your loved ones if you pass away from this sickness.

“While the flu can impact people more than others, everyone needs to practice good hygiene and insure yourself against the worst case scenario,” she advised.'s 10 Ways to Avoid the Flu:

  1. Have the flu vaccine: Information about this year’s flu vaccination is available from your GP or immunisation provider, by visiting, or by calling the Immunise Australia Information line on 1800 671 811.
  2. Don’t touch your face: The face is where germs enter your body. Don’t bite your fingernails, don’t rub your eyes or pick your nose.
  3. Keep away from crowds and public transport: Buses, trains and food courts are poorly ventilated and are a breeding ground for contagious germs.
  4. Get enough rest: Not enough sleep has been linked to a long list of health problems including suppression of the immune system.
  5. Sanitise common surfaces and clean jackets and outerwear regularly: Cold and flu viruses can survive outside the body for several hours or even days. This makes commonly touched surfaces such as bench tops, microwaves and door handles germ central. Dry clean coats more regularly in flu season.
  6. Don’t party hard: Alcohol, illicit drugs and cigarettes weaken your immune system so avoid temptation
  7. Eat a healthy diet: Enable your body to fight off infection by eating a healthy diet full of colourful fruits and vegetables.
  8. Get Active: Regular exercise boosts the immune system, preventing disease
  9. Wash your hands: This tip is so simple it needs little explanation. Chances are you are going to pick up some live virus on your hands at some point in your day so wash hands regularly for at least 15 seconds especially before eating. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  10. Supplement your diet: It’s claimed that taking tablets containing vitamin C, Echinacea and garlic can boost immune function and help fight off the flu.


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