Flu cases jump 256% in just five years

Daily Mercury - - NEWS -

THE num­ber of re­ported flu cases in the first six months of the year has in­creased by 256 per cent in just five years, with

13,972 con­firmed cases of in­fluenza for 2018 com­pared to just

3919 cases over the same pe­riod in 2013.

The fig­ures are from Jan­uary 1 through to June 6 for both pe­ri­ods and are be­fore the “of­fi­cial” flu sea­son in Aus­tralia kicks off — usu­ally in July.

In the Mackay Hospi­tal and Health Ser­vice, there have been 208 in­fluenza cases so far in 2018, al­most three times the av­er­age.

The shock­ing in­crease is de­spite more aware­ness around the im­por­tance of the flu vac­ci­na­tion and un­der­stand­ing in the com­mu­nity of the symp­toms of the flu. Com­pared to the same pe­riod last year, which was one of the worst flu sea­sons in many years, the num­ber of cases to date has de­creased by 3 per cent, with 14,459 cases in 2017 to June 6.

Last year, 250,494 no­ti­fi­ca­tions of lab­o­ra­tory-con­firmed in­fluenza were re­ported to the Na­tional No­ti­fi­able Dis­eases Sur­veil­lance Sys­tem for the en­tire year. A to­tal of 745 peo­ple died due to the virus in 2017 — the high­est num­ber on record.

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