Outbreak of flu lays students low
Cold medication flying off the shelfKIRSTY MCMURRAY
Is illness ravaging your household or business?
The dreaded lurgy has hit Taranaki. In the last three weeks school principals have seen a large number of students absent and pharmacists say they are selling more cold medication and vitamins than last year.
Waitara Central School principal Sharren Read said 30 of the school's 150 students and a quarter of the staff were off sick yesterday. Other schools reported similar numbers.
"It takes so long to get out of your system." Mrs Read said.
Because so many people were away, small classes were being combined and relief teachers called in.
"It's getting really difficult to get relievers at the moment," she said.
Mrs Read said she didn't think the flu season had struck the school any harder than any other year. "You tie it in with the weather and the cold snap."
She said the school was also part of a hand sanitiser trial that she hoped would help stop the spread of cold and flu germs in the school.
Unichem Robertsons Pharmacy pharmacist Tae-Wan Kim said a growing number of people were buying cold remedies and vitamins.
"I think it started earlier this year, I think it started in May," he said.
He said the bug was common throughout Taranaki.
"I go to Hawera and work there and there is an increased number of people buying these products there too," he said.
Mr Kim suggested people try to keep healthy to prevent getting sick in the first place.
"Take a multi-vitamin and some Vitamin C, eat well and do a little exercise," he said.
But for those who have already caught a cold the best remedies were rest and warmth, he said.
"Medications can only mask the symptoms, so anything that can boost up the immune system will be good, and plenty of water, and rest and keep warm."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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