Stay healthy and avoid spreading respiratory illness

27 June 2019

Western Australians are being reminded to take steps to protect themselves and their families from colds and flu.

Man rugged up sitting on a couch and blowing his nose into a tissue

WA's metropolitan emergency departments deal with a record number of patients presenting with flu-like illnesses.

The 2019 influenza illness season has started earlier than in previous years, resulting in higher than average emergency department presentations.

Good hygiene is the best protection in reducing the spread of respiratory viruses in the community.


  • As germs can spread easily, coughs and sneezes should be caught using a tissue or, if a tissue is not available, into the crook of your elbow.
  • After sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose, tissues should be disposed of immediately into a bin, and hands should be properly washed with soap or alcohol based hand sanitisers.
  • Clean surfaces and objects such as doorknobs, keyboards and phones regularly. 
  • People should to stay at home if they are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, to avoid the spread of the virus onto others.
  • Bed rest, a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water can also assist the recovery process.

People can also still get the flu vaccine, which provides the best protection against the flu. The vaccine is free to a number of eligible at-risk groups including young children, Aboriginal people aged 15 years and older, pregnant women, people aged 65 years and older and those with chronic medical conditions.

Emergency departments are for emergencies. Learn about the health care options available if you are unwell.