South Australia: Influenza season starts with three deaths, ‘unprecedented’ cases, vaccine deficiencies

An influenza emergency has hit South Australia toward the beginning of the flu season – with three individuals dead, the quantity of cases officially outperforming last year’s total, and specialists saying vaccine stocks are running low.

Only weeks into the 2019 influenza season, SA Health says 7500 cases have been confirmed, including three deaths. They are a 15-year-old girl and two people aged 62 and 89.

The quantity of affirmed cases so far this year has just outperformed the total reported cases from all of a year ago.

This year has likewise observed an early spike, with the government having presented its free vaccine program.

Since January 1, there have been 7,492 instances of influenza answered to SA Health contrasted with 1,253 this time a year ago – an expansion of very nearly 500 percent.

Wellbeing Minister Stephen Wade says the notification rate is “unprecedented” and it is difficult to predict its trajectory as the season progresses.

He asked every South Australian to get an influenza shot.

“People over the age of 65 and children over the age of six months and under the age of five started to receive their flu vaccines in early April,” he said.

Health care staff left unvaccinated

In any case, the Liberals have been accused for “a dramatic failure in planning” after the Flinders Medical Center came up short on vaccines for staff.

Wade said the hospital made the decision to bring forward its vaccination program for high-risk areas, and a high percentage of staff took up the early jab.

“In the last three weeks we’ve had more than 2000 staff vaccinated at the Flinders Medical Centre, of around 7500 staff,” he said.

The hospital has now come up short on vaccinations for staff, and workers should hold up until at any rate one week from now for their shots.

Opposition health spokesman Chris Picton says the situation puts more pressure on an already strained hospital system.

“It’s vitally important that our doctors and nurses are protected from the flu,” he said.

“If these delays continue, it’s more likely doctors and nurses will succumb to the flu, meaning they will have to stay home rather than providing care.”

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Fit Curious journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.

Mark David

Mark David is a writer best known for his science fiction, but over the course of his life he published more than sixty books of fiction and non-fiction, including children's books, poetry, short stories, essays, and young-adult fiction. He publishes news on fitcurious.com related to the science.

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