HORROR SEASON: Wide Bay’s shock number of flu cases

THE Wide Bay's horror flu season is finally over, with more than 2100 cases reported in the year to date, three times the four-year average.

In the week up to October 21, there were just 10 notifications of laboratory-confirmed influenza across Wide Bay.

This compares with 147 notifications in the peak week in August.

Dr Margaret Young, Wide Bay Public Health Physician said the high numbers were due to several factors.

"We had higher than usual notifications during the summer and spring, and the influenza season also started early this year - in mid June, rather than in late July or August as it typically does," she said.

"While the influenza season peaked in Wide Bay mid August, the decline was slower than usual."

Dr Young said it was important to note that while notifications have been high, the rate of hospitalisations has been low, which could suggest low severity or higher rates of testing. "The variations in influenza notifications around the state have been noticeable this year and it's been difficult to identify a pattern," she said.

"It's also important to reduce the spread of influenza in the community.

"Those who are unwell with flu-like symptoms including fever, cough, fatigue and sore muscles, should stay home while they're unwell. In particular, they should avoid crowds and close contact with pregnant women, young infants and the elderly."



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