Flu tightens its grip on Queensland with more than 3790 hospitalised

More than 3797 people have been taken to hospital this year suffering from the flu as statistics released by Queensland Health confirm it is one of the worst influenza outbreaks on record in Queensland history.

Overall this year there have been 35,296 laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu.

In addition, 43 aged care centres in Brisbane have been hit with major flu outbreaks in the past two months, the public health units confirmed.

In Victoria eight elderly people in aged care centres have died from influenza, and six people in aged care facilities in Tasmania have also succumbed to the winter illness.

No Queenslanders have at this stage died because of the flu so far this year, but 431 people had been admitted to intensive care units in Queensland hospitals because of it.

Last week - August 23 until September 3 - there were still 337 people in hospital with influenza, and 47 of those were still in intensive care units.

The Queensland Health statistics show the flu's grip on Queensland had not weakened as flu season passes its peak.

In the final week of August 4403 cases of the flu were registered with Queensland Health, more than any other week in August this when the influenza outbreak began to make major inroads in Queensland businesses.

The majority of the 35,296 Queensland influenza cases in 2017 are of the more serious Influenza A strain.

To date, 25,703 of the 35,296 influenza cases are influenza A, the highly contagious strain which worries medical authorities most of all.

What to do if you have the flu?

  • Stay at home to avoid infecting others
  • resting in bed;
  • taking mild pain killers to relieve your pain;
  • drinking plenty of liquids;
  • eating light foods, when you're hungry.

In Brisbane, aged care centres are on high alert with a very high number of influenza outbreaks in aged care centres.

Queensland Health's Metro South Health region - on the southside of the Brisbane River said there were 21 outbreaks of the flu in aged care centres since July.

In some cases, the antiviral tablets known as Tamiflu which attacks the influenza virus has been distributed to the aged care centres.

On the northside of Brisbane, 23 aged care centres have had major flu outbreaks between July and August.

If three or more patients in one aged care centre catch the flu, it is classified as an outbreak because the flu is so easily spread from patient to patients.

In the aged care centres patients with the flu are kept isolated from other patients, surfaces are sterilised and visitors are kept to a minimum.

The story Flu tightens its grip on Queensland with more than 3790 hospitalised first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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