Despite scorching temperatures and blue skies, thousands of Queenslanders are suffering from chills and wanting to curl up under the doona.
Queensland Health has revealed, the Sunshine State is in the grip of a very active ‘Summer flu’ season, prompting a reminder to ‘remain vigilant and practice good hygiene’.
Despite a mild winter flu season, summer flu numbers are at the highest they have been since 2013.
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“During 2018 we had a mild flu season – not only did we avoid a repeat of 2017, which was one of the worst years for flu on record, but we are set to report the lowest number of cases since 2013,” Dr Jonathan Malo from Queensland Health said.
“However, we have seen an increase in the number of confirmed cases usually reported for this time of year,” Dr Malo added.
There were 1,361 confirmed cases in November 2018, compared to an average of 645 confirmed cases for the same period in the previous five years.
While December saw 2028 confirmed cases, compared to an average of 534 confirmed cases for the same period in the previous five years.
“We must remain vigilant during 2019 because, as we’ve seen in the past, flu can occur at any time of the year and every flu season can be different.
“It’s also important for pregnant women to get vaccinated against flu at any time of the year to protect themselves and their newborns.
Queensland Health continues to offer free flu vaccine for children aged six months to less than five years old, one of the groups most susceptible to flu.