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Although the 2019 flu season has well and truly peaked, official statistics now prove its one of the worst years on record.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said so far this year the numbers are truly staggering with already close to 65,000 lab-confirmed flu cases recorded and it’s not over yet with three months left in the year.
“So far this year 2930 people were admitted to hospitals across the state with 285 requiring acute care in ICU,” Mr Miles said.
“Even if you’re fit and healthy the flu can make you extremely unwell and sadly in some cases, cause death.
“Tragically, at least 191 deaths have been recorded associated with the flu so far this year.
“Every death is one too many, these were Queenslanders with families and loved ones and prevention has to be a priority for all of us.
“I want to thank our incredible hospital staff and paramedics who are caring for these flu victims.
“It’s why we’ve doubled our winter beds investment to $20 million this year.
“I am begging people, please get yourselves and your families vaccinated every year. And if you’re sick, stay home.
“Vaccination is the best way to give yourself a fighting chance to avoid getting the flu.
“The then record-breaking year of 2017 reached a total of 56,094 cases."
In Queensland, those eligible for the government-funded vaccine include:
- all children aged six months to less than five years
- pregnant women during any stage of pregnancy
- persons 65 years of age or older
- all Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people six months of age and older
- persons six months of age or older who have certain medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications.
Current flu stats as of 29 September 2019:
- 64,809 lab-confirmed notifications
- 2,930 influenza hospitalisations
- 285 Intensive Care (ICU) admissions
- at least 191 recorded deaths associated with the flu
Table 1 - Influenza-associated deaths in Queensland by HHS, 1 January to 26 September 2019
Hospital and Health Service (HHS)
Cairns and Hinterland 3
Central Queensland 7
Central West 0
Metro North 56
Metro South 43
North West 0
Sunshine Coast 21
Torres and Cape 3
West Moreton 14
Wide Bay 7