Fears rise over 'Aussie Flu' outbreak after deaths recorded in Ireland

Faith Castro
January 2, 2018

No national statistics regarding flu and flu-related deaths have been announced.

The so-called "Aussie flu" is a particularly virulent strain of influenza A and is said to have triggered the huge rise in cases, along with an aggressive B subtype.

The same strains of the virus will circulate north in time for the British flu season, which typically begins in November and lasts until March.

Experts fear the virulent flu strain, which has now reached the United Kingdom, could prove as deadly to humanity as the Hong Kong flu in 1968, which killed one million people.

In October, five days after her initial flu symptoms, Madeline Jones, an 18-year-old Queensland teenager, was admitted to hospital where she fell into a coma and never woke up.

Dublin's "D Doc" service last night had only a small number of appointments left. The HSE has confirmed that the vaccine here should be "a moderate to good match" and encouraged people to get the jab.

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The flu season, usually about 12 weeks long, may have started earlier than normal, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. False contrary outcomes for influenza tests are likewise normal, so it's imaginable the quantity of individuals with this season's cold virus is significantly higher.

"It is not too late to get vaccines", says IMO member Dr Ray Wally.

"It is of the utmost importance for those that can get vaccinated, to get vaccinated".

The designated support people need to be free of flu symptoms and carefully follow infection control guidelines, such as hand washing. "The HSE would urge those who have not yet been vaccinated to join their peers and their colleagues in getting the flu vaccine".

"They [Australia] just had a lot of cases, the most they've had since 2009, which was a pandemic year", Dr. David Relman, an infectious disease specialist at Stanford Health Care, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

However, those at greater risk such as elderly people should contact their GP for further advice. Of the 48 "positive specimens" tested at public health laboratories across the state, there were 42 Influenza A cases and six Influenza B cases during Week 51, according to the December 28 update from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

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