Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of major questions often asked by new FluTrackers.

Please contact us If your question is not answered below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

We have answered some frequently asked questions regarding the addition of the ‘headache’ symptom to our survey. You can view the FAQ on our Facebook page here.


Can I invite my Work Colleagues?

Yes, this is a great way to raise awareness about stopping cold and flu transmission in the workplace. Just email a message to your staff.. (example below).

Hi everyone, To help limit coughs and colds in [our organisation] this year we are becoming Flutrackers – it takes just 10 seconds per week to answer two simple questions and we can help track flu around Australia and New Zealand. It’s a great reminder that influenza vaccine is now available and we can limit the spread of coughs and colds around the office by staying home when sick and washing our hands regularly. Go to for more information.

Can I change the email address or postcode that I use for the survey?

Yes, you can change your email address, we now have a participant information page where you can change your postcode or email address.

For security reasons, this page can only be accessed by clicking on an email that you have received from us previously. So check the bottom of any of our weekly survey emails to change your information. You can also contact us advising us of your new email address or postcode.

Please don’t register for the study all over again, otherwise your old information will not be linked to the new email address.

How confidential are my details?

All information you provide will be kept confidential. The information you provide will be stored on password protected databases and your personal email address will be kept in a separate file to the health information you provide to us. The information will be kept for the duration required under the State Records Act.

Can I answer the survey for other people?

Yes, you can add other people in your household to your weekly survey form. They should be regular members of your household.

Just look for links to add household members at the bottom of the weekly email we send you.

What if I am away on holidays and miss the survey?

You can still complete the survey when you get back. Each email you receive has a link that links to a particular week. Just click on the emails and answer the questions for that week – if you cannot recall the week just click on “Don’t know”. However, if you were completely out of the country for the week in question, it is probably best that you do not answer the survey for that week. Although we could add an extra button on Flutracking to allow you to indicate you were out of the country, we try to keep the survey screen as brief as possible so we just have to accept some low level of inaccuracy in the data to enhance participation.

If you are away for a long time – several months, you can contact us to put you on hold or go to the unsubscribe page and select to be reinvited for next year or subsequent years.

What if I have a chronic cough or hay fever?

I cough most days, most weeks – am I going to bias your data? I suffer from hay fever – does this bias your data? These are common questions. We understand this can appear to distort the data, however, we analyse the information in a variety of ways and look at the presence of fever and severity of illness (time off normal duties) to help us understand if the data are suggestive of influenza or other diseases. It is best to report whatever symptoms you have as accurately as possible.

Australian Government Department of Health
New Zealand Government
Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD)
Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI)
The University of Newcastle
New Zealand Ministry of Health