Basmah Qazi

"Killer" flu to hit Australia: Hospitals brace for a horror winter expected to kill more than 4,000

 "Killer" flu to hit Australia: Hospitals brace for a horror winter expected to kill more than 4,000

Australians have been advised to prepare for an upcoming killer flu season, which is estimated to take the lives of close to 4,000 people.

In March 2019, over 10,000 contracted the flu – 6,827 more than this time last year, according to data released by the Immunisation Coalition.

Professor Robert Booy, chair of the coalition, revealed the reasoning behind the severity of this year’s flu season, saying that people failed to build up immunity last year.

“This year, we expect the flu to kill at least 4,000 people which is the same number as deaths from suicide and the road toll combined,” he told Daily Mail Australia.

“Last year was so quiet that we didn’t build up enough immunity in the community, which means we never achieved ‘herd protection’.

“It means many more people will be prone to the flu this year.”

According to Professor Booy, Australians travelling from the Northern Hemisphere brought back viruses that could affect the vulnerable, such as primary school students.

“We’ve already started seeing peak flu rates in primary schools in year 1 and 2 and while it hasn’t been reported widely, outbreaks in schools are happening,” he said.

Research conducted by Professor Booy shows that almost 27,000 people have already been diagnosed with the flu this year alone.

The states that were hit the hardest were New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.

And it’s not just the young folk that have been receiving the brute end of the spectrum, as nursing homes were also suffering from the outbreak.

“We have seen multiple outbreaks at nursing homes right down the east coast,” he said.

Most deaths from the flu occur in people aged over 65 and young children. He urged patients to visit your GP and get immunised to avoid the spreading of the disease any further.

“If you consult Dr Google, you end up being confused, but if you talk to an expert who has spent 20 years researching the issue, you might get closer to the truth,” he said.

Are you planning to get the flu shot this year? Tell us in the comments below.