Aussie Flu Could Be Worst Ireland Has Seen In Decades

Ebony Scott
January 2, 2018

The sharp rise in cases, released by Public Health England, has been triggered by a surge in two aggressive subtypes attacking the population simultaneously.

There are concerns the country may be hit by one of the deadliest outbreaks of flu in decades. During Australia's flu season, which ended in September, hospital admissions for influenza were twice the normal rate and three times the usual number of deaths were reported. Britain's flu season tends to mirror what has happened there.

Some experts have warned this could be the most serious flu epidemic since the 1968 pandemic that began in Hong Kong and killed a million globally.

Usually, just one subtype, either influenza A or B, is responsible for the majority of cases. It spreads much easier in the cold weather. Some 43 cases are yet to be identified.

"For example, these are people who may have died because of the heart disease, linked to the flu".

So far this winter, 23 people have died from the outbreak and almost a third occurred two weeks ago. No national statistics regarding flu and flu-related deaths have been announced. "Previous year it was much lower". The figure has raised at a steady level week-on-week since October.

It said 49 states and Puerto Rico reported widespread or regional flu activity.

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A flu vaccine, available at pharmacies and in good supply in the United States, may not offer adequate protection against Type A, subtype H3N2, the influenza virus strain now circulating in the country, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Thursday. The vaccine used in the United Kingdom will be very similar.

Australian Medical Association vice president Tony Bartone told H3N2 had mutated since its vaccine was created in March 2017.

Flu scientists are predicting that 2017's outbreak could be one of the worst in half a century.

The increase of expected flu cases is similar to that in Australia, where the H3N2 strain was prevalent.

The elderly who may have compromised immune systems are particularly susceptible.

Cases of swine flu and the B strain have also been detected.

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. However, it is slowly building up immunity.

Other reports by GizPress

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