A recent study suggests that Japanese flu pandemic may be affecting Australians more than previously thought.
The report, by the Australian Centre for International Research (ACRI) and the Centre for Public Health and Society (CPHS), examined how flu season is affecting Australia.
The researchers analysed data from 2,600 health and social care professionals who had been working with the Australian community in the past two weeks.
The researchers looked at the flu season and its impact on health and wellbeing.
It found that in the first week of the flu, flu vaccinations were distributed more widely in Australia, with a significant increase in flu shots being given to people with flu-like symptoms.
The research also found that flu season has been increasing in popularity.
It found that people are opting to take their flu shots at a rate of nearly 1 per cent per week, and flu season peaked at 2.1 per cent in the second week of November.
The results showed that more than 90 per cent of those who were tested for flu in the weeks leading up to the flu pandemics first week had influenza-like illness.
Dr David O’Brien, a researcher from ACRI, said that the results were particularly important for those with flu or who had just recently been vaccinated, because they could provide a snapshot of the severity of the pandemic.
“The flu vaccine has been really important to us because we are seeing a number of cases of influenza related hospitalisations and deaths in Australia and we have been reporting the numbers of hospitalisations related to the pandemias first week,” he said.
Dr O’Connor said that flu vaccines were also being given at higher rates to the elderly and those who had not been vaccinated in the previous two weeks because they were less likely to be at risk of complications.
The study also found the flu vaccine was getting less popular with the population.
“In the past, people thought it was more of a priority to get the flu shot, so this was a significant shift in the influenza vaccine market,” he explained.
Dr Jodie Taylor, from CPHS, said the increase in popularity was a sign that the flu was affecting Australian healthcare systems more than people realised.
“We know that the pandems first week, the flu shots were given to a lot of people with very high-risk conditions, so they were giving a very strong signal to healthcare providers that the influenza virus was being passed around,” she said.
“So it was not just a pandemic flu pandemia.”
Topics:health-policy,health,flu,flu-infectious-diseases,health-administration,labor,australiaFirst posted September 01, 2018 19:20:59Contact Paul TootellMore stories from New South Wales