April 13, 2023
There have been more than 6300 cases of the flu so far this year in Queensland, including eight deaths.
At the same time last year, there had been just 69 cases and no one had died.
The jump in cases has caused the State Government to urge Queenslanders to get an influenza vaccination ahead of the impending flu season.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who received her flu shot on Thursday, said flu numbers were continuing to rise.
Vaccinations are available from a range of providers, and in some cases can be free under the National Immunisation Program.
“I urge all Queenslanders to go and get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones against the flu,” the Premier said.
“Because the flu strains change every year, it’s important to get the flu shot every year.
“Queensland has already seen a steady rise in the flu cases across the State and getting vaccinated now provides the best protection before the likely peak in August.
“Flu affects people of all ages, but it is particularly serious in young babies and children, as well as pregnant women and the elderly – so let’s do everything we can to protect our most vulnerable communities.”
Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard said everyone aged six months and older should get a flu vaccine.
“Young people, in particular, play an important role in getting vaccinated as they are considered super-spreaders,” he said.
“The flu can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia. Those particularly at risk are young children and people aged 65 years and over, as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with certain medical conditions and pregnant people.
“It’s also recommended that those over 65 years receive a COVID-19 booster at the same time as their flu shots if it’s been more than six months since previous COVID vaccinations or natural infection.”
From January 1 to December 31, 2022, there were 44,436 influenza cases in Queensland, and 90 deaths.
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Another 12 people have died with COVID-19 in Queensland, taking the death toll to 2858.
A total of 409 deaths have been recorded since December 30, 2022.
The latest Queensland Health statistics, released on Good Friday, showed there were 231 people in Queensland public hospitals being treated for COVID-19, including seven patients in intensive care.