Australia looks set for a record number of flu cases this winter with over 75,000 lab-confirmed incidences already this year.
Shockingly, that number is twice as many as were recorded in the whole of 2016 and could lead to a record high for 15 years.
Many more Australians are likely to have been suffering with the flu but haven’t made it to their GP to be tested.
There are four strains of the virus thought to be in current circulation including: A-H1N1, A-H3N2, B-Victoria and B-Yamagata.
Children and the elderly have been particularly affected and are most likely to spread the flu to others at school or their care home.
Professor Paul Van Buynder from the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service paints a grim picture of the latest statistics and is strongly urging everyone to get vaccinated at their local GP or pharmacist.
“We’re expecting that we’re not only going to break the weekly records, but we will break all the records. We’re hoping we’re at the peak, but it’s possible that next week we’ll have even more than we had.
“This is impacting right across the spectrum of the age ranges of the community and we urge anybody who hasn’t had a vaccine yet to go out and do it.”
Professor VanBuynder also highlighted the dangers to pregnant women with only half making the decision to get the vaccination.
“That is very disappointing, because we do know that if (pregnant women) do get influenza they suffer more serious disease,” he said.
“They are likely to have small babies or lose their babies and without a vaccine they’re not protecting their own children after birth in those first six months.”
Queensland seems to have been worst affected with over 4,000 people of all ages struck down with the flu in last week alone.