A FLU vaccination mightn't protect you from catching coronavirus but it certainly helps, clinical nurse consultant Carol McKelvie says.
Globally more than 111,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 3800 have died, most of them have been in China.
In NSW, an additional eight cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed as at 7am on Tuesday, March 10 bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 55. None have occurred in Western NSW.
Ms McKelvie, a clinical nurse consultant in the Western NSW Local Health District, said the approaching flu season was a major concern for health authorities.
"If we can protect [people] from the flu we'll be healthier facing COVID-19," she said.
Ms McKelvie said the flu vaccine helps protect your immune system and this in turn makes people less vulnerable to the coronavirus.
"It'll help protect us from the COVID-19 situation as it develops," she said.
The flu vaccination will be available from April and is free for the following groups:
- Children aged under five years
- People aged 65 years and older
- Pregnant women
- Aboriginal people
- Medically at risk groups
The symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and breathing difficulties. If you suspect you or a family member has coronavirus you should call (not visit) your GP or ring the national hotline: 1800 020 080
The new coronavirus cases in NSW are:
- A woman in her 20s who is a known contact of a previously confirmed case at Ryde Hospital
- A woman in her 40s who recently returned from South Korea
- A male in his 20s, a Victorian resident who recently returned from Hong Kong.
- A woman in her 80s who was transferred from Dorothy Henderson Lodge Aged Care Facility to Ryde Hospital
- A woman in her 40s who is related to a deceased resident from Dorothy Henderson Lodge Aged Care Facility
- NSW Health is also following up three other cases; a woman in her 30s, a male in his 70s and a woman in her 40s to identify the source of their infection and trace their close contacts.
NSW Health said it would continue to find and respond to cases as they are diagnosed to slow any spread of COVID-19 in the community.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government won't look at further cuts to essential services such as schools, hospitals and the NDIS as it deals with the economic impact of the health crisis.
While Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan told Nine's Today program that school closures could "become the norm".
Advice from NSW Health
- Wash your hands
- Sneeze into your elbow
- Stay at home if you're sick