Authorities are urging Australians to get vaccinated, with this years’ killer flu season already claiming the life of 63 people.

A three-year-old child is the youngest of 26 people whose deaths have been attributed to Victoria’s early-starting flu season this year.

The youngster, along with two others aged six and 11, were reported to the health department several weeks ago, acting Chief Health Officer Angie Bone confirmed on Tuesday.

The majority of cases were aged-care residents, but there could be others who have died from the flu who had other conditions as the department is not notified of all deaths, she said.

South Australia’s flu death toll has risen to 17, while 25 more have died in Queensland as of May 13.

So far 10,683 confirmed flu cases have been reported since the current season started late last year, Dr Bone said.

“It’s certainly not showing any signs of tapering off, but it’s not showing any signs of suddenly taking off with a massive increase,” she told 3AW radio of the flu season.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos blamed the early season on people travelling when the flu is at its peak in the northern hemisphere.

“We are seeing a lot of communicable diseases spread through overseas travel, that’s certainly been the case in terms of measles cases and flu cases,” Ms Mikakos told reporters.

“We have seen a very significant summer flu season this year as a result of people coming back from the northern hemisphere with the flu and that spreading in the community.”

Ms Mikakos said the death of three children was unusual.

“(Juvenile flu deaths) do tend to be associated with situations where there might be other illnesses and vulnerabilities involved with those children,” she said.

Authorities are urging Victorians to get a flu vaccine.

The federal government has a program of flu vaccines for vulnerable people, expanded by the the state government, making it free for children under five years old.

“We have put in an order for a record number of flu vaccines this year, two million flu vaccines for Victorians are available,” Ms Mikakos said.

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  • Not good at all! I had a very bad Virus recently and it knocked me around very badly.

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  • How scarey esoecially for the vulnerable, the very young, very old and tge already ill

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  • I’ve never had a flu shot, I’m actually a bit worried as I’ve heard of bad side effects, even heard a lady talking to a pharmacist saying “I never had this problem until I had the flu shot”. Not sure what it was about. But I would like to know what else was going on with the 3 children. Very sad. i have a 6 and 11 year old so it’s very concerning. There are so many variations of the flu/colds though which are always evolving.

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  • No, it’s not late. Even if they are running out of it. It will then take 3-4 weeks to be fully protected. I got mine this morning.

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  • The flu is so bad this year. I was contemplating getting the vaccination but I think it’s too late now

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  • I have decided that this year I will get a flu shot. I’m booked in at my local pharmacy tomorrow morning. My daughter is 16 and they told me that you must be at least 18 to get the vaccination at the pharmacy. So I booked her in at the local medical centre next week.

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  • Terrible! I have gotten myself and baby vaccinated. Now just to get my husbands butt into gear and get him done.

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  • Our whole family vaccinates every year.

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  • It’s clearly going to be a very long, bad flu season this year.

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  • Its sad not more people are getting the vaccine thinking its all for profit. It’s there to protect

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  • It is RIFE I had my flu vax as I work.in a hospital….we have had a few cases on our ward it is really awful for the people who get it…..they feel awful…

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  • My 2 year old currently has it. His temperature has been 39 degrees constantly for 5 days now even with the help of panadol and neurofen which brings it down slightly then its straight back up as soon as that wears off. Hes not sleeping properly, not eating and is so sick the poor little mite. I would do anything to take it away from him. We had the flu shot the day before he fell ill, but unfortunately 2 days prior had been in contact with a child in his child care who was later diagnosed with the flu, so the injection was no good because he wold already have had it :(


    • Aw bless, hope he get better soon !



      • Thank you. He is much better now, but still has a really bad cough and still isn’t 100%, poor baby

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  • I heard a couple of weeks ago that there has already been over 10,000 confirmed cases and there is often a lot more later in the year.

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  • My daughter was down with flu last week. But nothing too serious luckily.

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  • I’m intrigued to know if any of these people had the flu jab a d still contacted another strain of the virus.
    I am all for immunisation but I get a bit suspicious of the flu shot because it changes every year and every year the flu gets worse . Maybe we need to rethink the flu?

    Reply

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