Flu surveillance: we’re in for an early and severe season

Today is the first day of winter, and for many Australians with winter comes influenza.

According to the director of the national influenza surveillance network, the University of Adelaide’s Professor Nigel Stocks, this flu season is underway early and it’s expected to be particularly relentless, so people should get vaccinated now.

“Our data indicated that in the last two weeks of May, confirmed diagnosis of influenza increased dramatically to over 20% – which means 20% of patients with flu-like symptoms who were swabbed for the national flu surveillance were found to be positive for influenza. This compared to 1% at the same time last year,” says Professor Stocks, the Director of ASPREN (the Australian Sentinel Practices Research Network) and Head of General Practice at the University of Adelaide.

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