Deaths from bird flu in Australia have reached 300, while experts describe the flu season as "moderately bad"

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About 300 people died of the flu already this year – more than double those of 2018.

But experts believe that the "moderately bad" season of Australia has probably reached its peak.

The flu season started at the beginning of this year after a mild year in 2018, leading to a significantly higher number of flu cases than those usually found at this point.

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Professor Robert Booy, flu expert, believes that it will be a moderate flu season and not as severe as in 2017, when he died 1163.

The president of the Immunization Coalition said that the early start of this year's flu season will probably mean an initial peak, predicting that the number of cases will begin to decline soon.

reported:

"My opinion is that it could be a moderately bad year with an early onset, but I can see the evidence that it is touching its peak, which is fluctuating and it is likely to start falling much sooner than usual," he told All. ; AAP.

The professor. Booy, of the National Center for Immunization Research and Surveillance, said the flu season peaked in August and September, but believes it has already peaked.

"Moderate" flu season

Vicky Sheppeard, director of the transmissible disease at NSW Health, described this flu season as moderate, stating that unprecedented numbers were due early and followed an unusual amount of activity during the summer.

"The flu is an unpredictable virus, but we hope that we are at the peak and in the coming weeks we will begin to see a reduction in activity," Dr. Sheppeard told reporters in Sydney on Thursday.

There have been 135,952 cases of influenza influenza confirmed in the laboratory throughout Australia so far this year, well above the average of 17,349 at the same point in the last five years, data from the federal health department show.

The deaths have doubled

So far 298 deaths associated with the influence have been reported to the National Notifiable Surveillance System, although it includes only cases confirmed in the laboratory.

There were 58 confirmed cases of flu and 125 deaths in Australia in 2018.

The flu season of 2017, when a quarter of a million cases confirmed by the laboratory and 1163 people were killed, was the worst since the swine flu pandemic in 2009.

The laboratory numbers do not show the full extent of the influence because most people are not tested.

Mutant strains

The professor. Booy said the modeling estimated that the average number of deaths each season was actually between 3000 and 4000 and that the immunization coalition planned for this year would be no different.

While there have been reports of one of the mutant flu strains, Prof Booy said that a mutation of the virus was a natural occurrence and the Center for the Influence of the World Health Organization in Melbourne did not report no mutation which meant that the vaccine did not work.

The dott. Sheppeard said the WHO noted that a minority of one of the four circulating influenza strains carried a mutation that made it somewhat different from the vaccine, but the vaccine remained highly effective against most strains circulating.

& # 39; As well as expected & # 39;

He said the vaccine appears to work as expected, preventing about half of potential influenza cases and reducing its severity for sufferers.

"Unfortunately, especially in people over 65, despite vaccinations, we receive victims every year."

The dott. Sheppeard said the WHO had also warned that there was no antiviral resistance in the strains of influenza that were circulating at the time.

Alarming figures

REPORTED CASES OF INFLUENZA CONFIRMED BY LABORATORY AND DEATH ASSOCIATED SO FAR IN 2019

  • 135,952 cases at national level
  • 298 dead

Source: Department of Health (Federal)

LATEST INFORMATION AVAILABLE STATE-BY-STATE **

  • SA – 19,964 cases, 82 deaths
  • NSW – about 43,000 cases, 70 deaths
  • VIC – 25,969 cases, 50 dead
  • WA – 17.640 cases, 48 ​​deaths
  • QLD – 23,947 cases, 38 deaths
  • ACT – 1595 cases, less than 5 deaths
  • NT – 1079 cases, 4 deaths
  • TAS – 1390 cases, 1 death

The jurisdictions update their data at different times.

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