FRIDAY, June 1 is the first day of winter and doctors in the Redlands are asking residents to get immunised against influenza before this year's 'flu season begins.
In the Metro South Health District there have been 129 cases recorded this year, compared with 630 cases of influenza across the state since May 13.
That is a slight increase on the 2007-2011 average number of cases to the same date of 543.
Metro South Health Service District includes Redland, Wynnum, the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Logan, Beaudesert and QEII Hospital.
But the state's chief health officer, Dr Jeannette Young, said that was no reason to become complacent about guarding against the virus.
"Influenza is a highly contagious and potentially serious disease that can be spread through coughing and sneezing," Dr Young said.
"It's especially important for people in 'at risk' groups to be vaccinated, which is why Queensland Health provides free 'flu immunisation for the elderly, pregnant women, indigenous people aged over 15 and those at risk due to medical conditions such as heart and respiratory diseases.
"As is the case every year, this year's vaccine is based on the virus strains circulating in the northern hemisphere including the influenza A H3N2 strain, influenza A H1N1 and an influenza B strain.
"This reliable and safe vaccine is available to prevent people getting the 'flu. Anyone over the age of six months who is not severely allergic to vaccine ingredients can be immunised."
Vaccination is available through GPs, Aboriginal medical services and other immunisation providers.
Queensland Health is providing more information about influenza, how to prevent its spread and vaccination for Queenslanders and their families at: www.health.qld.gov.au/flu/
Regularly updated data is available at: www.health.qld.gov.au/ph/ cdb/sru_influenza.asp