I’M calling it: the entire Gold Coast has the flu. Every last one of us.
Okay, I’m being a little melodramatic, but it certainly seems that way.
Everyone I know is either just getting over a cold, or they’re madly hoping that their sore head and leaky nose is just a shocking case of hayfever.
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Or, they’re smack back in the middle of the flu, suffering through that bone-weary, headache-inducing hideous stage where even the act of sitting up to sip a glass of water is just too. Much. Effort.
It’s not the regular old flu that’s keeping Gold Coasters down right now, either.
Word on the street is that a suite of superbugs – which deliver a triple whammy of diarrhea, vomiting and chest-crushing coughing sessions – is responsible for keeping kids home from kindy, teens home from school and the rest of us chained to our phones and laptops as we try to “work” through the pain.
I can’t attest to the first two, as I have somehow escaped the misery of a fragile digestive system.
But I have been hit with that familiar eye-watering combo of coughing, sneezing and swallowing razor blades… Not once, not twice, not even three times, but four separate times this flu season.
The most recent one was a mere flirtation with influenza at only three days of suffering, but still – it’s been bloody awful.
Reports from the Influenza Specialist Group (ISG), which monitors the spread of influenza, show that Australians have notched up than 21,000 reported cases of influenza so far this year, up from about 15,400 this time last year.
Unsurprisingly (to me at least), Queensland reported the highest number of flu cases in the country so far this year.
And that’s only the reported cases; I imagine the real figures must be vastly greater. I didn’t go to the doc for any of my rounds of illness, for instance, as I veer more towards the “sleep it off and up your nutrients” philosophy than the “flood your system with drugs” camp.
Interestingly, almost three quarters of the reported influenza cases for 2014 were the H1N1 strain, according to WHO.
That’s right – Australia is currently ripe with swine flu.
Which, incidentally, is one of the three strains of influenza that the current flu vaccination protects against. Next year, I’ll be one of the first lining up for the jab. But for now, I’ll be bunkering down and avoiding public places for the next few weeks; the last thing I need is to succumb to lucky flu number five.
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