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25 people killed by the flu in Queensland

Email Flu kills 25 Queenslanders prompting warning to vaccinate By Tim Swanston and staff

Updated May 15, 2019 08:11:31

Generic flu, influenza, cold, sniffle shot. Photo: Nearly 10,000 people have fallen ill with the flu in Queensland this year. (ABC News: Kym Agius) Related Story: Flu outbreak kills 17 in SA, nursing homes go into lockdown Related Story: Doctors expect the flu to kill at least 4,000 people this year. Here's what you need to know Related Story: A deadly flu season is approaching, so when should you get vaccinated? Map: QLD

The flu has caused at least 25 deaths in Queensland so far this year, according to figures released by Queensland Health.

Key points:

  • The figure is half the total number of cases in Queensland in 2018
  • Authorities are urging people to get vaccinated as soon as possible
  • There have been nearly 10,000 flu cases in Queensland this year

The number is more than half the total flu deaths last year in Queensland — 43.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said she was urging all Queenslanders to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

"Flu is a serious viral illness. It is not the same as a common cold, and these figures clearly show how serious the complications can be," she said.

"Vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza.

"If this doesn't highlight the importance of vaccination against flu, I don't know what will."

Free vaccinations are available for eligible Queenslanders, including children from six months to five years, pregnant women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people aged 65 or older.

Nearly 10,000 people have fallen ill with the flu so far this year in Queensland, and there have been around 40,000 confirmed cases nation-wide.

People going to hospital with blisters and splinters

What really spreads the flu?

What really spreads the flu?
Sneezes, hands or children. When it comes to flu, everybody has their own avoidance tactics.

Flu cases are having an effect on hospitals with health authorities appealing for people to keep out of emergency departments unless they need urgent medical assistance.

Gold Coast Health GP Liaison Officer, Carl de Wet, said the flu was increasing demand for medical attention.

He said the city's doctors were among the busiest in the nation.

"On average they deal with close to 500 patients in a day. Most patients with flu or suspected flu will have troubling symptoms but they will not be unwell enough that they will require medical support or an admission."

He said more than 2,000 people attended Queensland emergency departments in the past six months to have prescriptions re-filled.

"We have had more than 1,500 patients requesting a medical certificate, about 1,000 patients attending with a simple blister, almost 3,000 with splinters.

"The reason you might want to go is if you have problems with breathing, chest pain or pain that is out of keeping in severity with what you might have experienced before."

Topics: influenza, diseases-and-disorders, health, vaccines-and-immunity, qld, australia, brisbane-4000, surfers-paradise-4217

First posted May 15, 2019 08:03:28

Contact Tim Swanston

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