Australia: Flu kills 25 Queenslanders prompting warning to vaccinate - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaFlu kills 25 Queenslanders prompting warning to vaccinate

13:50  15 may  2019
13:50  15 may  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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Twenty-five people die from the flu in Queensland — more than half the total number of flu deaths in the state last year — prompting authorities to plead with people to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

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

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 kills 25 Queenslanders prompting warning to vaccinate © Provided by ABC News Nearly 10,000 people have fallen ill with the flu in Queensland this year. "If this doesn't highlight the importance of vaccination against flu, I don't know what will."

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Queensland health authorities have urged people to get the flu vaccination after 25 people died from the disease. Doctors warn even fit and healthy Photograph: David Cheskin/PA. Queensland ’s death toll from the flu stands at 25 , with the peak yet to hit. Health authorities have again urged people to

Flu kills 25 Queenslanders , prompting calls for more people to vaccinate . Health authorities say statistics indicate a horror flu season ahead, with the elderly and young most at risk.

Dr Young said the severity of the flu season was difficult to forecast.

"The flu season varies enormously — last year we saw a relatively mild season, so therefore we would expect to see a worse season this year," Dr Young said.

"These things come in cycles, we really can't predict what's going to happen, which is why it's so important that people go and have a vaccine."

She said flu cases were up about three and a half times the average for this time of year.

Nearly 10,500 people have fallen ill with the flu so far this year in Queensland with 848 people admitted to hospital.

There have been around 40,000 confirmed cases nation-wide.

This week authorities in South Australia said 17 people had died from the flu, including 13 residents of aged care homes.

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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.

People going to hospital with blisters and splinters

Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles said the healthcare system was coping well with the patient influx.

"It is putting a strain on our hospitals, but they are well equipped to respond," he said.

"The system is doing a great job looking after Queenslanders with the flu but the best thing you can do to support our hospitals and the workers in those hospitals is to get your flu shot.

"These flu cases, particularly the number of admissions to intensive care, will impact on our hospitals and that will be continuously monitored throughout the winter."

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

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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."

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