Flu season shaping as worst in years

11 May 2022


Image of person with warm socks and used tissues

 

Latest figures show the urgent need for Queenslanders to see their GP and get their flu shots as soon as possible.

After two years of influenza dormancy due to COVID lockdowns and border closures, 2022 is on a frightening trajectory towards a significant and early flu season.

“The latest figures show that in May in Queensland we have 1,000 confirmed cases of influenza and a number of combined flu-COVID cases,” AMA Queensland President Professor Chris Perry said.

“Last year, there were only 598 cases across Australia.

“We have not seen 1,000 cases in Queensland in May for eight years. This suggests that we will see a significant and early flu season.

“Queensland had one of its worst flu seasons in two decades in 2019, with almost 70,000 lab-confirmed cases and 264 deaths.

“Now that we are seeing combined flu and COVID cases, the pressures on our health system will only escalate.

“Your best protection is to get your flu shot now.”

AMA Queensland Vice President Dr Bav Manoharan said many people may not have kept their influenza vaccines up to date during COVID.

“People haven’t had their flu shots and people haven’t been travelling,” Dr Manoharan said.

“Our borders are open now and flu is coming in from the northern hemisphere. Go and get your flu shot.”

AMA Queensland Committee of General Practice Chair Dr Maria Boulton said GPs are working overtime to vaccinate as many Queenslanders as possible against the flu.

“GPs and their practice staff are staying open after hours to make sure Queenslanders can get their flu jabs,” Dr Boulton said.

“Influenza is a serious disease and we do not want to see what happened just three years ago with five people dying each week during flu season.

“Make an appointment to see your family doctor, who has your full medical record and will make sure you get the right vaccination.

“If you are eligible for your fourth COVID shot, you can have it at the same time as your flu jab. Your family GP is the best source of advice on all vaccinations.”


Published: 11 May 2022