Queensland hardest hit
State in grip of flu virus
QUEENSLAND is Australia’s flu hotspot, with more than 4000 people testing positive for the virus so far this year, the highest number in any state.
Flu cases in Queensland are running 88 per cent above the five- year average with the nation in a flu explosion.
Nationally more than 2000 people tested positive for the virus last week and cases are more than double the five- year average.
A delay in the rollout of the 2015 vaccination is a possible explanation for the spike.
Health Minister Sussan Ley said families should get themselves vaccinated before the virus reaches its peak in August.
“With most people usually taking up to three weeks to develop immunity following their flu shot, now is the time to get your flu jab,” she said.
The more people who are vaccinated, the less chance the illness spreads through the rest of the community, she said.
There have been almost 5000 more flu cases reported this year than in 2014.
In the six months to July 2, there had been 14,124 flu cases reported compared to 9258 cases at the same time last year.
This is 100 per cent higher than the five- year average of flu diagnoses, which sits at just 6915 cases by this time of year.
Influenza Specialists Group chair Dr Alan Hampson says these cases represented only those who had had a mucosal swab for flu at a hospital or doctors surgery. Other people with the flu may not doctor or get tested.
“You could multiply that figure by about 20 or more to get an idea of the total number of cases,” Dr Hampson said.
Initial records show influenza has already claimed 34 lives, with one person as young as 49 felled by the virus.
Typically complications from the flu will kill 3000 Australians each year.
There was a one month delay in rolling out the flu vaccination this year because manufacturers had problems making enough of the vaccine.
A survey three weeks ago showed while many more older Australians had been vaccinated this year only 40- 45 per cent of younger people at risk from the flu had been vaccinated.
These include pregnant women, those with cardiac disease, respiratory problems, chronic illness and indigenous Australians.
Ms Ley said so far this year 4.5 million doses of flu vaccination had been bought under the National Immunisation Program ( NIP), which is 200,000 more than were distributed in 2014.
The Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Baggoley said people who had the seasonal flu vaccine in 2014 needed to have a new shot in 2015, because there was a rare double strain change in the vaccine.
“The 2015 vaccine contains new virus strains which are different to last year’s to ensure Australians were protected,” Professor Chris Baggoley said.
visit a THERE were plenty of goosebumps at Melbourne’s St Kilda beach yesterday, with models revealing plenty of skin and the far from glamorous side of fashion.
More than 150 models braved 11C temperatures, stripping down to their swimwear as they vied for the chance to share the catwalk with Montana Cox and Jessica Gomes in the David Jones spring summer fashion launch.
Designer Bec Cooper from Bec & Bridge joined David Jones head stylist Kelvin Harries on the judging panel while models were put through their paces.
Cooper said they were looking for confident women.
“We are looking for strong, healthy, confident women to model in this show,” she said.
David Jones catwalks have become synonymous with launching the careers of models including Abbey Lee Kershaw, Sarah Murdoch, Gemma Ward, Catherine McNeil and Kristy Hinze.
MODEL ROW: Tess Shanahan and Laura de Wit model swimsuits at St Kilda beach.