An­other Death in Aust in Ma­jor Flu Out­break

More than 137,500 cases of flu have been re­ported so far this year in­clud­ing a record break­ing 30,000 cases last month

Fiji Sun - - Aust/nz News - news.com.au Feed­back: jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj

Amother of two has be­come the lat­est fa­tal­ity from in­fluenza dur­ing the worst flu sea­son Aus­tralia has seen in years. Jen­nifer Thew, from Gun­gahlin in the ACT, re­port­edly died over the week­end from acute res­pi­ra­tory dis­tress syn­drome.

Ms Thew, who worked as a med­i­cal re­cep­tion­ist in Can­berra, had been vac­ci­nated against the flu. It is un­der­stood her seven-year-old daugh­ter had also been un­well with the virus.

Ms Thew is an­other tragic death in what’s been dubbed Aus­tralia’s worst flu out­break in a decade, with ex­perts urg­ing peo­ple to have a flu vac­cine now to pre­vent fur­ther spread of the dis­ease.

More than 137,500 cases of flu have been re­ported so far this year in­clud­ing a record break­ing 30,000 cases last month. That’s more than dou­ble the 53,159 cases con­firmed by this time last year and more than the total 83,092 cases con­firmed by the end of the flu sea­son in 2016, ac­cord­ing to the Daily Tele­graph.

“I’m con­fi­dent this is not just the big­gest on record but the largest flu out­break we’ve seen for some time,” Pro­fes­sor Paul VanBuyn­der the Chair­man of the Im­mu­ni­sa­tion Coali­tion said.

In­fluenza A (H3N2) is the flu sub­type that’s wreak­ing havoc, es­pe­cially in nurs­ing homes. It comes as an eighth el­derly res­i­dent died at a re­gional Vic­to­rian nurs­ing home to­day fol­low­ing an out­break of in­fluenza A, which af­fected a fur­ther 123 res­i­dents and staff.

Six el­derly men and women also died from in­fluenza A last month at an aged care fa­cil­ity in Tasmania. NSW has been hit the hard­est with al­most 70,000 cases as at Septem­ber 1, as well as Queens­land suf­fer­ing from 35,360 cases.

Other vic­tims be­lieved to have died from the virus:

Sarah Hawthorn, 33, from Co­bram in coun­try Vic­to­ria, is fight­ing for her life in a Mel­bourne hospi­tal af­ter con­tract­ing the flu in the later stages of her preg­nancy.

Ear­lier this month, a 30-year-old bot­tle shop worker died sud­denly due to com­pli­ca­tions from the flu.

Ben Ihlow was meant to spend Fa­ther’s Day with his 10-month-old son, An­drew, and wife Sa­man­tha on Sun­day, but died af­ter com­plain­ing of “a bug” just six days prior.

An eight-year-old girl lost her life to the virus ear­lier this month, af­ter con­tract­ing the flu.

Rosie An­der­son died in the Angliss Hospi­tal at Up­per Fern­tree Gully in Mel­bourne’s outer east on Fri­day Septem­ber 15.

The cases have more than dou­bled the 53,159 cases con­firmed by this time last year and more than the total 83,092 cases con­firmed by the end of the flu sea­son in 2016, ac­cord­ing to the Daily Tele­graph.

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