Milder sea­son, less flu death

Fremantle Gazette - - NEWS -

AT least 27 peo­ple in WA have died of in­fluenza, down from 50 last year due to a milder flu sea­son and warmer weather.

In­fluenza and pneu­mo­nia is the twelfth lead­ing cause of death in Aus­tralia, ac­cord­ing to the Aus­tralian Bureau of Statis­tics, killing more peo­ple than skin can­cer, breast can­cer sui­cide.

The fig­ures un­der­es­ti­mate the true im­pact of in­fluenza in­fec­tion on mor­tal­ity, as the dis­ease con­trib­utes to deaths that are at­trib­uted to other causes.

The to­tal num­ber of re­ported cases of flu to Oc­to­ber 17 was 5079.

Last year, no­ti­fied cases reached 7926 with 50 peo­ple re­ported as dy­ing due to in­fluenza.

WA ex­pe­ri­enced a milder flu sea­son than the past two years, shel­tered from the east­ern seaboard and South Aus­tralia which has un­usu­ally high lev­els of flu ac­tiv­ity this year.

The weather could have de­layed the on­set of WA’s flu sea­son and less­ened its mag­ni­tude com­pared to the east­ern states, with an un­usu­ally dry and warm au­tumn and start to win­ter.

Septem­ber was the peak of this year’s sea­son when 1779 cases were recorded.

De­part­ment of Health statis­tics show the dis­tri­bu­tion of in­fluenza types was sim­i­lar across the na­tion though, with about 70 to 80 per cent of de­tec­tions be­ing of the A/H3N2 strain.

About 10 per cent was the A/H1N1 va­ri­ety, and an­other 10 per cent was the in­fluenza B virus.

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