Summer is the best time to plan for winter flu


As much of Australia swelters through the regular summer heatwave, the impact of the winter cold and flu season may be the furthest thing from your mind. However, now is the time for businesses to start planning to reduce the impact of illness on their company.

Dr Paul Richards, our Head of Work and Student Health, said that a prevalent flu season in the northern hemisphere is a strong indicator of things to come in the Australian winter and now is the time to act.

“The key to minimising the impact of flu in July is to start planning in January”

“A strain of influenza A known as H3N2 is currently sweeping across America and Europe leading to one of their busiest flu seasons. Flu activity there is usually a good precursor as to what we can expect in our winter and is a strong warning as to why business needs to plan now.

While it may feel a bit like buying hot cross buns on Boxing Day, the reality is that if your business doesn’t plan now for flu, it may be too late.

There are various ways in which organisations can keep their Employees ‘Winter Well’ and securing a flu vaccination program is a proven way to reduce the severity, but that needs to be organised now.

The cost of flu to business in Australia is up to $884m, or a cost to individual businesses of $1300 for every week that an employee is off sick,” Dr Richards said.

In addition to our Winter Well program,  for 2017, we have a new voucher program with a leading pharmacy group that businesses can provide to employees unable to attend the onsite program. This means employees can receive a flu vaccination at participating Terry White, ChemMart or ChemPlus pharmacies at a convenient time including after hours and on weekends.

“This year will see Australians receive a quadrivalent flu vaccination, which can provide them with protection against four different strains of flu. Flu vaccination is about 60% effective in preventing flu-specific illness in healthy adults,” Dr Richards said.

See our solutions below to help get your employees protected.

This information has been reviewed for Bupa by health professionals and to the best of their knowledge is current and based on reputable sources of medical research. It should be used as a guide only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical or other health professional advice. Bupa HI Pty Ltd (and its related entities) makes no warranties or representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of the recommendations or assessments and is not liable for any loss or damage you suffer arising out of the use of or reliance on the information, except that which cannot be excluded by law. We recommend that you consult your doctor or other qualified health professional if you have questions or concerns about your health.