Jump in flu patients a concern for hospital
FLU season has hit the region a little late this year with Mareeba and the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital Services having an increase of influenza cases.
So far for 2017 there have been 712 cases of influenza presented in the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service region compared to 338 cases in 2015.
Mareeba Hospital acting nurse unit manager Mary Vicary said that they’ve had an increase in patient numbers presenting with influenza, and she expects this trend to continue for a little while yet.
Mareeba Hospital medical superintendent Tjaart Grobbelaar confirmed that the hospital had recently had an increase of cases.
“Last week was very busy with a large amount of patients presenting to the emergency department with the flu but it has lessened this week,” she said.
“The incidence is typical for the flu season although this year it is a bit later than usual.”
The Queensland Government recorded an extra 4749 flu cases, identified in Queensland over the past week, bringing the 2017 total to 24,605.
Health Minister Cameron Dick said that following the recent spike in flu cases, it was timely to remind people that taking simple, sensible precautions could still make a difference.
“Last Monday (August 14) was the busiest day on record for the QAS with an extra 613 Triple Zero (000) calls fielded compared to the same day in 2016,” he said.
“The most significant growth has been in Code 1 cases, the most critical patients, where there has been a 22 per cent increase in the past week, compared to the same period last year.
“In the past fortnight the QAS has experienced eight of its 10 busiest days on record for Code 1 incidents.
QAS medical director Dr Stephen Rashford said many flu patients were presenting with cardiac and respiratory issues. “In a lot of cases they’re having trouble breathing and those sort of symptoms require a Code 1 response,” he said.
“We’re also seeing patients who have experienced several days of sickness at home.”
Queenslanders are being asked to consider some tips for the flu because over the past week, an extra 4,749 flu cases have been identified in Queensland, bringing the 2017 total to 24,605. 1. Get vaccinated. 2. Consider seeing a GP or calling a nurse for free on 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84), instead of going to an emergency department. 3. Wash your hands. 4. Stay home if you’re sick. 5. Cover your cough with a tissue or your arm. For more details, phone 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84), your GP or immunisation provider.
Mareeba Lions Club member Alan Carroll, president Denis McKinley and David Mills (right) presented a cheque of $350 to help rider Jamie Hewitt-Toms travel to Toowoomba to compete in the Interschool National Competition.