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Doctors Warn Flu Cases Have Reached An 'Unprecedented Level' In Australia

Doctors Warn Flu Cases Have Reached An 'Unprecedented Level' In Australia

Doctors have issued a starling warning to Aussies as we enter flu season.

According to the Guardian, we could see as many as 4,000 people die due to complications around influenza this year.

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That's a shitload of people dying due to the flu and doctors are suggesting people get their injections as soon as possible to avoid any unnecessary deaths.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Medical virologist Prof William Rawlinson said: "What we are really concerned about is that these very large numbers don't continue on through winter."

We're on track to smash last year's flu cases, with 40,000 already recorded for 2019 compared to 58,700 for the whole of 2018. That number for this year is three times what it was at the same time last year - so clearly we're dealing with a nasty strain.

The flu has already claimed the lives of 10 people in South Australia, aged between 15 and 92. That alone should make you realise that it can affect anyone.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

SA Health chief medical officer and chief public health officer Professor Paddy Phillips said: "We have had unprecedented numbers of flu infections so far. This is the tip of the iceberg...people get ill with the flu and don't get tested and go see a doctor.

"What we are seeing is a very unusual year with early and high numbers of influenza, possibly brought in from overseas.

"We haven't seen this early peak before, it is very unusual."

Confusion about what we're dealing with has spread to neighbouring states, with New South Wales also grappling with a spike in cases.

NSW Health communicable diseases expert Vicky Sheppard said the state has experienced four times as many cases in the four months of this year than for the same period in 2017 - and that was a record year for the virus.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"We don't know what it means because this is a new phenomenon," Vicky Sheppard said.

"We don't know if this activity will decrease and then the influenza season will come later in the year or potentially this activity could be ongoing.

"We've had an unusual start."

The ABC reports that because last year was a 'quiet' one for the flu, the community's overall immunity wasn't as strong as it could have been - meaning we're a bit more susceptible to it this year.

But the best course of action is to get the flu vaccine in order to bolster the herd immunity. We don't want to see bodies piling up.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Flu, Australia, Health

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.

 

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Doctors Warn Flu Cases Have Reached An 'Unprecedented Level' In Australia

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