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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Australia : Flu outbreak grips Canberra

Article via The Canberra Times :

" The ACT remains in the grip of a winter flu outbreak after 16 adults and several children were admitted to hospital with serious cases of influenza.

ACT chief health officer Paul Kelly said yesterday there had been 190 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza in the territory this year, compared with 43 last year. Doctors usually only refer seriously ill flu patients for laboratory testing.

Dr Kelly said several patients had been admitted to hospital, three of whom had required stays in intensive care units. ''For some people it can be a serious illness. We're still putting out the message people can be vaccinated,'' Dr Kelly said.

The patients admitted to hospital were mostly young adults and two were pregnant women.

Both groups are susceptible to becoming very ill from H1N1 swine flu, which has been the predominant strain of influenza in Australia since 2009.

Many of the hospital patients had chronic underlying health conditions.

Dr Kelly said it was probable the number of flu cases for the year had peaked in recent weeks."

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