Flu cases jump 256% in just five years
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.