ibusinesslines.com July 23, 2018

Vaccine protects against new Brisbane flu

11 April 2018, 03:40 | Melissa Porter

Image Shutterstock


In 2017, more than 56,000 cases of influenza were diagnosed in Queensland, making it one of the state's worst seasons on record, with 2,961 cases alone between January 1 and April 1.

Australian Medical Association president Michael Gannon said this year's vaccine protected against the B-strain, as well as three other types of flu.

If you thought the flu season was over, think again.

Dr Pete Vincent of the Netcare travel clinics and Medicross Tokai family medical and dental centre‚ said on Tuesday that the severity of the flu season overseas was "usually an indication that we may also have a bad flu season here in South Africa during our upcoming winter months".

"We're not back to baseline (in terms of pre-flu season illness levels), but we're getting close". And right now "about 90% or more is influenza B".

Dr Khan said the seriousness of the flu was often underestimated.

"Bacterial pneumonia can be very risky for anyone, but is particularly so for high-risk individuals, such as the elderly, babies, small children, pregnant women and anyone else with a compromised immune system".

Vincent said a flu vaccine was regarded by healthcare authorities and the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) as one of the best ways to protect oneself against influenza.

"This year has been a pretty significant year for flu and the dominant strain has been that H3 strain and that tends to be more severe and that's borne out in the number of hospitalizations", said Heath. The vaccine effective rate for the 2016-2017 flu season was 40 percent.

A strain of the flu that originated in Brisbane past year has been named as one of the most unsafe forms of the virus in the world.

This winter the country was smacked with one of the most risky flu seasons in history.

At this time, OR is one of 13 states with low flu activity. "In fact, this vaccine can and does save many lives every year and we recommend that all South Africans should consider having it", he said.

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