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Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Zealand : Wintry blast sees sudden rise in flu cases

Via The Scoop :

" Wintry blast sees sudden rise in flu cases

Chilly winter weather appears to have brought with it a sudden rise in influenza cases and other respiratory infections around the country.

Latest ESR general practice surveillance data shows a national consultation rate of 58.0 per 100,000 (220 influenza-like-illness consultations) which indicates normal seasonal influenza activity. The consultation rate has, however, almost doubled in the past month.

"It's not too late for eligible New Zealanders to protect themselves with a free flu vaccination - the Government's subsidised season ends on July 31.

Dr Lance Jennings, a virologist and spokesperson for the National Influenza Strategy Group (NISG)1, says that all three types of influenza virus currently in circulation (pandemic HINI 09 (swine flu), H3N2 and B virus) are covered by the 2011 season influenza vaccine.

"We're also seeing other respiratory viral infections, including common colds, in the community and it's important people don't confuse them with actual influenza. They may have some similar symptoms but they're not the same thing."

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