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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

Flu a year round problem

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Kilt5 View Drop Down
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    Posted: October 18 2019 at 3:10am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kilt5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 18 2019 at 3:11am
Flu is now a year-round phenomenon, according to Victorian health authorities, after a 10-fold increase in infections in 2019.

More than $200 million in new health funding was announced by the state government on Thursday, in response to a horror flu season that killed more than 150 Victorians.

Public health physician Dr Finn Romanes encouraged vulnerable Victorians – chronically ill, pregnant or elderly – to get vaccinated.

"That flu does surge over the April to September period," he said. "But we do see flu transmission continuing at lower levels throughout most of the year.

"Thinking is changing [around when you can contract flu] and that's why we're emphasising that people in a vulnerable group, that it's important to get vaccinated.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kilt5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 18 2019 at 3:12am
Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said this year's unprecedented flu season had put an "enormous strain" on hospitals.

About 10 per cent of children and 5 per cent of adults diagnosed with influenza end up in intensive care so the funding package will work to increase bed and staff numbers in resource-stretched wards.

Dr Nigel Crawford from the Royal Children's Hospital said the flu season started earlier and was much bigger than last year, with his hospital clocking 580 confirmed cases of influenza, compared to 60 last year.

"It really has been a much bigger season in 2019," he said.

The paedetrician said the increase in emergency department presentations had a flow-on effect throughout the hospital: "Not just emergency but also our inpatient wards".

The hospital responded by rostering on more senior clinicians, "flexing up" the short-stay unit and increasing staffing at night.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kilt5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 18 2019 at 3:13am
Dr Romanes also said there had been 250 outbreaks of influenza in aged-care facilities that had placed "a lot of pressure" on hospitals.

Ms Mikakos said the "new money" would start flowing into Victorian hospitals immediately, and acknowledged it was a big spend in challenging economic times.

"There’s no doubt that with the state of the economy, it’s challenging set of circumstances but we always prioritise our health services.

"Because of the unprecedented nature of this year’s flu season, we have provided unprecedented funding."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kilt5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 18 2019 at 3:15am
Flu season is disappearing — it's worse than that
3AW-9 hours ago
Experts are warning the flu season is not over. In fact, the concept of a flu season is becoming a misnomer as influenza cases spike year-round.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Kilt5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 18 2019 at 3:16am
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EdwinSm, View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EdwinSm, Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 18 2019 at 10:26pm
Well the earlier posts about flu in Australia showed how this past season starting a good two months before normal.   

Will this all-year-round flu function in area with a higher latitude (ie further north or south)?
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