Published: Tue, January 02, 2018
Medicine | By Melba Vasquez

Fears rise over 'Aussie Flu' outbreak after deaths recorded in Ireland

Fears rise over 'Aussie Flu' outbreak after deaths recorded in Ireland

This is based on the recent epidemic in Australia - our flu season follows theirs - where there were twice as many cases and deaths as the year before.

The so-called "Aussie flu" is a particularly virulent strain of influenza A and is said to have triggered the huge rise in cases, along with an aggressive B subtype.

Public Health England reported a 156 percent jump in cases of infection as figures revealed 1,111 people were struck down with it last week.

A flu vaccine, available at pharmacies and in good supply in the United States, may not offer adequate protection against Type A, subtype H3N2, the influenza virus strain now circulating in the country, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Thursday.

Dr Kevin Kelleher, from the Health Protection department, said: 'There have been a few deaths already, under 10 people have died so far this year.

"I don't give specific numbers when it's less than 10 because people could be identified".

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The CDC recommends people at high risk for complications from the flu be treated with antiviral medications as soon as possible once they become sick.

'The most important thing is that if people think they've got it is to stay at home and look after themselves'.

In the majority of cases, this flu, while serious, can be treated at home.

But last week 522 cases of influenza A and 546 of influenza B were recorded across England and Wales.

However, this winter's outbreak shows no signs of slowing down, as flu cases are expected to rocket even further in the coming weeks.

IMO member Dr Ray Wally says it is not too late to get vaccinated.

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The Aussie flu is transforming quickly, but not fast enough for experts to describe it as a shift.

People should recover from normal flu within a week so, although the cough and fatigue may last longer.

While this year's flu season may not be the worst statistically, there are more cases than usual, and East Texas is one of the hot spots.

'As far as past seasons where H3N2 has been predominant, there have been more hospitalizations and complications with it, ' said Texas Health and Human Services Commission spokeswoman Lara Anton.

Those most at risk are the over 65s, pregnant women, young kids and those with chronic conditions - like diabetes, lung and heart disease.

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