Australia Experiencing Worst Flu Season Yet

Date: August 22, 2017

Australia is currently in the midst of its worst ever flu season, with the total number of cases exceeding 70,000. It is estimated that less than 10 percent of children are vaccinated, making schools a hot spot for the spread of the virus. Similarly, New Zealand is experiencing flu rates three times as high as last season. Health officials in both countries are urging citizens to get vaccinated to protect themselves against the spread of the virus.

With the majority of U.S. children returning to school, taking the necessary precautions and understanding the myths and facts of getting the flu, along with encouraging parents to get flu vaccines for their kids and teens, can help prevent the spread of the virus. This includes both the staff and teachers because they are in close contact with their students.

A new study published at the end of May by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), revealed that flu vaccination reduced deaths, ICU admissions and length of stay, and overall hospital duration among flu patients. This study aimed to provide a better understanding on how flu vaccines can reduce severe symptoms and outcomes, even if they weren't able to protect the individual against infection. The study also found that patients who were vaccinated were 52-79 percent less likely to die than unvaccinated patients.

The past 2016-2017 season lasted for 17 consecutive weeks, in comparison to the last 15 seasons, which had an average duration of 13 weeks. With other parts of the world already experiencing higher than average flu outbreaks, it is important to educate patients on how getting the flu vaccine is the single best way to protect themselves against the flu for this upcoming 2017-2018 season.

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