Influenza outbreak kills 37 Victorians, including hospital worker in state's east

| 28.06,19. 07:23 AM |


Influenza outbreak kills 37 Victorians, including hospital worker in state's east




Acting Chief Health Officer Angie Bone warned people to get vaccinated. (ABC News)



Victorian health authorities say 37 people have died from influenza so far this year, including a Gippsland hospital worker who had been immunised before falling ill.


James Day worked at the Latrobe Regional Hospital in Traralgon as an orderly and was hospitalised with flu on June 15.


When his condition worsened, he was transferred to The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.


He remained in a critical condition for almost a week when he suffered multiple catastrophic complications.


His family made the difficult decision to withdraw life support and he died on June 23, leaving behind his wife Jennifer and a young son.


A fundraising campaign has been set up for Mr Day's family, which raised over $8,000 in 10 days.


In a comment on Facebook, Mr Day's sister, Lisa Ramsey, said he had done everything he could to protect himself but "unfortunately flu mutates".


The Victorian Health Department said there had been more than 21,800 reported cases of influenza so far this year compared to just over 2,000 last year.


At this time last year there had been no deaths.


The majority of the deaths were in aged care homes, but Acting Chief Health Officer Angie Bone said the actual number was probably much higher.


"We are not routinely notified about deaths. Sometimes they are difficult to identify as being due to the flu. So this will only represent the tip of the iceberg," she said.



Embed: Influenza cases in Victoria 2019



Dr Bone said this flu season started in January, much earlier than usual.


"I think there is a perception that this is a particularly bad season because it started early," she said.


"Normally flu starts in June in Victoria, but actually we've been seeing cases through since the end of last year."


Dr Bone has urged people to take all precautions and people with the flu to stay indoors as vaccines are no guarantee to protect people from a potentially fatal strain of the influenza.


"We know that no vaccine is absolutely 100 per cent effective," she said.


"So even if you have your flu shot it's still worth taking all of those measures to protect yourself and others."


Dr Bone said people should routinely wash their hands, get vaccinated, cough into their elbow to prevent the spread of infected droplets and "if you're unwell, stay home".


abc


(Votes: 0)

Other News

Wealth climbs, but so does mortgage debt High Court to determine Aboriginal right to exclude public from popular camping beaches Mascot Towers documents seized by local council could reveal structural problems Singleton community in shock after house fire claims lives of three 'little angels' CCTV released as police hunt for man over Five Dock shooting murder Donald Trump quizzes Scott Morrison on Liberal leadership spill during G20 meeting Three children die in house fire at Singleton in New South Wales Hunter Valley Tasmania could become the first state to criminalise 'gender normalisation' surgeries Man charged with murder after body found in Gardenvale, in Melbourne's south-east Media bosses unite to demand law changes after police raids on ABC, News Corp journalists Aged Care Royal Commission hears Japara Healthcare CEO dismiss patient assault numbers Mobile phones to be banned in Victoria state schools from 'first to last bell' Alleged Woolworths shoplifter filmed ripping trolley full of groceries from employee Man accused of murdering neighbour in Parkes after argument over barking dogs Mascot Towers residents in shock after a report finds the building may be sinking Darwin CBD buildings evacuated after magnitude-7.2 earthquake in Banda Sea Police seek man over alleged train station robbery Sharrouf children among Australian orphans freed from Syrian warzone in secret rescue mission Meteor lights up Queensland night sky leaving observers scared and amazed Brisbane bus stop shooting: Man charged after couple shot while cowering behind shelter Tullamarine Freeway sign that crushed car not given mandatory checks, report finds Girl dies after being hit by Lamborghini outside Adelaide Chinese restaurant Mascot Towers residents to receive emergency accommodation funding from NSW Government Elderly Sydney hoarder missing after home engulfed in fire Opal card fares capped at $50 a week for NSW commuters Tax office dob-in-a-dodger phone line runs hot as it tries to crack down on $50 billion black economy Mother of newborn baby found dead in Newcastle backyard is taken to hospital Queensland flu season turns deadly with 38 lives already claimed Mascot Towers owners agree to foot $1 million repair bill as residents remain homeless Jail for shop owner who shot and killed portrait seller, stored body in wheelie bin for 17 years