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Old 08-22-2017, 09:25 AM   #1
Exodia
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Default Australia 2017

This report is from the beginning of August:

Quote:
Australian Influenza Surveillance Report No 06 - 22 July to 04 August 2017

Summary
-Influenza activity at the national level continued to increase this reporting fortnight with many surveillance systems at levels comparable to the peak of the 2016 season.

-High levels of influenza activity in the community are likely to continue for the next few weeks.

-There has been almost two and a half times the number of laboratory confirmed notifications of influenza reported to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System this year when compared with the same period last year. An earlier season onset and introduction of rapid testing have contributed, in part, to this increase.

-Influenza-like illness (ILI) is increasing nationally. Influenza was the most common cause of ILI presentations to sentinel general practitioners this fortnight, with almost half of all patients presenting to sentinel general practitioners with ILI and tested were positive for influenza.

-Influenza A(H3N2) is currently the predominant circulating virus nationally, however influenza B viruses also continue to circulate.

-Notification rates this year to date have been highest in adults aged 85 years or older, with a secondary peak in young children, aged 5 to 9 years.

-Hospitalisations with confirmed influenza have increased overall this reporting fortnight, but have declined in the most recent week.

-Clinical severity for the season to date, as measured through the proportion of patients admitted directly to ICU and deaths attributed to pneumonia or influenza, is low.

-To date, based on antigenic characterisation of circulating influenza viruses, the seasonal influenza vaccines appear to be a moderate to good match for circulating virus strains, depending on the strain. Vaccine effectiveness estimates, which provide an indication of how well the vaccine provides protection against influenza, are only available towards the end of the influenza season.
http://www.health.gov.au/flureport#current
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:32 AM   #2
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Australia hit by worst flu outbreak on record in 2017

AUGUST 15, 20172:27PM

AUSTRALIA is in the grip of the worst flu outbreak on record and experts are urging people to have a flu vaccine now to prevent further spread of the disease.

More than 70,000 cases of flu have been reported so far this year including a record breaking 30,000 cases last month.

“I’m confident this is not just the biggest on record but the largest flu outbreak we’ve seen for some time,” Professor Paul VanBuynder the Chairman of the Immunisation Coalition said.

The previous influenza record occurred in 2015 when more than 100,000 people tested positive for the flu.

Flu notifications in South Australia are at a six-year high, with a total of 6203 cases so far this year compared to just 1347 cases at the same time last year. In all of 2016, there were a total of 7851 flu notifications in SA.

In 2015, the state recorded its highest number of flu cases on record, with a total of 15,659 notifications.
http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/hea...eacd5298e06d88
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Flu season in Queensland putting pressure on stretched ambulances

By Leonie Mellor
Updated Sat at 11:11pm


The worst flu season in five years is putting an unprecedented demand on Queensland's ambulances, with a 13 per cent increase in calls to triple-0.

There have been 19,216 cases of the flu this year, with about 2,145 hospitalisations in the past few weeks — well above last year's admission rate.

The Queensland Ambulance Service said it had experienced eight of its 10 busiest days on record for Code 1 incidents.

Last Monday was the busiest day on record with an extra 614 triple-0 calls compared with the same day last year.

The biggest spike in calls has been for Code 1 cases, the most critical patients, where there has been a 22 per cent increase in the past week compared to the same period last year.

QAS Acting Commissioner Dee Taylor-Dutton said they expected the heavy workload to continue for another week.

"In 2017 we've seen unprecedented demand for our ambulance services over the flu period," she said.
"Despite the unprecedented demand increases, we've continued to be able to respond to our most critical patients in a timely manner."

However, she said despite extra staff, patients with less serious conditions should expect it might take longer for an ambulance to arrive.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-2...lances/8824714
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:46 AM   #4
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Flu season: Why it's been a particularly bad year for influenza

OPINION
The Conversation By Ian M Mackay and Katherine Arden, The University of Queensland
Posted Sun at 11:31pm


This year, the number of laboratory-confirmed flu virus infections began rising earlier than usual and hit historic highs in some Australian states.

If you have been part of any gathering this winter, this is probably not news.

States in the south-east (central and southern Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia) are more inflamed by flu than those in the north and west.

For example, Queensland has seen more hospital admissions than in the last five years, mostly among an older population, while younger demographics more often test positive without needing hospitalization.

snip

Why so bad this year?

Flu, caused by infection with an influenza virus, is mostly a disease with an epidemic peak during July and August in non-tropical countries.

Flu viruses are broadly grouped into two types: Influenza-A and Influenza-B.

Influenza-B viruses have two main sub-types while the Influenza-A viruses are more variable.

The Influenza-As you get each year are usually A/H3N2 (the main player so far this season) or A/H1N1, which lingers on from its 2009 "swine flu" pandemic.

Multiple flu viruses circulate each year and serial infections with different strains in the same person in a single season are possible.

H3N2 has played a big role in the past five flu seasons. When it clearly dominates we tend to have bigger flu seasons and see cases affecting the elderly more than the young.

H3N2 is a more changeable beast than the other flu viruses. New variants can even emerge within a season, possibly replacing older variants as the season progresses.

This may be happening this winter, driving the bigger-than-normal season, but we will not know for certain until many more viruses are analysed.

Outside winter, flu viruses still spread among us. This year, in particular, we're being encouraged to get vaccinated even during the peak of flu season.

Vaccines are a safe way to decrease the risk that we or loved ones will get a full-blown case of the flu.

Yet Australian flu vaccination rates are low.

Data are scant but vaccination rates have increased in adults and some at-risk groups, but remain lower than for childhood vaccines.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-2...d-year/8826512
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Old 08-22-2017, 08:44 PM   #5
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Okay - the last article in particular answered my questions. Namely - what is the vax rate so far this year? Low, apparently.

I'm leaning, (no proof whatsoever), to thinking a variant or two has cropped up. H3N2 has been circulating for years; you'd think the elderly especially have had plenty of exposure & time to build immunities by contracting a case. While the ages of most cases of flu, (the elderly) is no surprise, the high numbers really suggest another factor is at play - the simplest answer is a new variant.

If it IS a variant of H3N2, we in the northern hemisphere are SOL - vax for this season is already in production - too late to change it.
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by CanadaSue View Post
Okay - the last article in particular answered my questions. Namely - what is the vax rate so far this year? Low, apparently.

I'm leaning, (no proof whatsoever), to thinking a variant or two has cropped up. H3N2 has been circulating for years; you'd think the elderly especially have had plenty of exposure & time to build immunities by contracting a case. While the ages of most cases of flu, (the elderly) is no surprise, the high numbers really suggest another factor is at play - the simplest answer is a new variant.

If it IS a variant of H3N2, we in the northern hemisphere are SOL - vax for this season is already in production - too late to change it.
Do you have the list they put in our vac this season..for Canada I googled and could not find

and hey now my turn sorry to high jack Australia thread and ask a Canadian question

Sorry Tis OK I found it

What viruses will the 2017-2018 flu vaccines protect against?

There are many flu viruses and they are constantly changing. The composition of U.S. flu vaccines is reviewed annually and updated to match circulating flu viruses. Flu vaccines protect against the three or four viruses that research suggests will be most common. For 2017-2018, three-component vaccines are recommended to contain:

an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus
a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus
Four-component vaccines, which protect against a second lineage of B viruses, are recommended to be produced using the same viruses recommended for the trivalent vaccines, as well as a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus.
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Old 08-22-2017, 10:08 PM   #7
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kelee - a lot of people around here, (Kingston area),have been fighting respiratory cruds since early spring. I'm going to dig around & see if that's changed & what pre-dominantly, is making people sick.
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Old 08-22-2017, 10:11 PM   #8
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DD came down with a nasty bug during our trip to Quebec, sounded flu like in her description - pain everywhere, fever, low-low energy. Took her a good week to pull out of it.
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Old 08-22-2017, 10:31 PM   #9
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So far for this flu season, mot Canadian cases have been A Hong Kong, (H3N2). The vast majority of hospitalizations, especially ICU & deaths have been in the over 65s, followed, interestingly enough by the 45-64 age group. 88% of those who died had underlying conditions or comorbidities.

We're seeing low, inter-seasonal numbers but it's noted that our inter-season is heavier than normal.

Nothing mentioned about variants yet.

We only do monthly reports in summer& the next 1 is due out Friday - I'll compare numbers & strain characterizations again, then.
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Old 08-23-2017, 01:28 AM   #10
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That makes sense. I got it in the 60s and was VERY sick so perhaps thats why Im resistant now.
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Old 09-02-2017, 08:03 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by CanadaSue View Post
kelee - a lot of people around here, (Kingston area),have been fighting respiratory cruds since early spring. I'm going to dig around & see if that's changed & what pre-dominantly, is making people sick.
Im back in the south from being up north for 17 years..London area just a fyi

we just got over a crude bug,but we travel all over the states 4 weeks ago down in Texas(yes were Harvey just hit) and last week we were in Montana..next week Georgia, we thought we might have picked something up when we went to Texas..headache,achy bones, the runs and chest pain like someone was sitting on your chest..finally over it
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:01 PM   #12
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Todays news paper headlines........... "Bought to our Sneeze"
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/new...881f7a857e6dbe
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