Almost 200 deaths in Queensland’s worst flu season


The staggering impact of flu in Queensland, 191 people have died in the worst season ever and that’s four times as many as last year.

Federica Willemsen reports.

TRANSCRIPT

Almost 65,000 cases of flu have been diagnosed across Queensland this year, 8,000 more than in 2018.

It is a record epidemic.

Dr Richard Kidd, AMA: “For Queensland, it started out bad and it continued to be bad but hopefully we are through the worst of it now.”

One hundred and 91 people have lost their lives, up 300 per cent.

The elderly were most affected.

Eighty per cent of those who died were in their 70s or older, while nine were under 50 and one under 20.

Brisbane was worst hit, followed by the Sunshine and Gold coasts.

Vox 1: “I have been worried but I have done what I think is all I can do.”

Vox 2: “You have to pay a lot of money to the doctors these days, people don’t have money to go to doctors.”

Experts believe the newly released data is a gross underestimate, because many flu cases aren’t reported.

Despite the higher death toll fewer people were actually hospitalised.

Health experts believe that’s because the number vaccinations has risen dramatically too.

Dr Richard Kidd, AMA: “The flu vaccine doesn’t necessarily protects you for more than a few months so timing of the flu vaccine is very important so people who got it very, very early this season might want think to get a second one now.”

There are still three weeks left in the official flu season so we could see even more deaths.

The elderly in particular are urged to report symptoms immediately.

Federica Willemsen, QUT News.