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Flu killing aussies!!

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Parents are being warned to watch out for flu-like symptoms in their children as a virulent strain of the virus appears to have claimed the life of a sixth child.

The latest victim is a two-year-old boy from the city of Bathurst, west of Sydney, who died of a flu-related illness.


In Queensland, fears of an epidemic have prompted the State Government to release a stockpile of the antiviral drug Tamiflu to aged care homes and pharmacies.


But disease experts say parents should not panic.


During the winter, it is not uncommon for people to say they have got the flu, when really they have got just a head cold.


Alan Hampson knows the difference. He is the convenor of Australian Influenza Specialists Group and an adviser to the World Health Organisation (WHO).


"It's not your runny nose and sneezing, more commonly it comes on as a fever with chills, headache, febrile aches and pains and the sort of thing that makes you feel you should go to bed, and in fact that's probably where you should be until you start to feel really better," he said.


Across the country, hospital emergency rooms also know the symptoms.

Complications caused by a virulent strain of the virus are believed responsible for the deaths of six children, as a well as a 37-year-old Queensland man.


Dr Jeremy McAnulty, the director of communicable diseases with New South Wales Health, told ABC NewsRadio the latest victim appears to be the two-year-old boy from Bathurst.


"We had preliminary information back last evening that influenza A had been identified in the child, so we're very suspicious that that has contributed to the child's death. But there's further work to be done," he said.


Those at risk


Experts say it is usually older people who suffer the most during flu season, but Dr Hampson says the virus also poses considerable risks for other age groups.


"From time to time we do see people who would otherwise appear to be normal and healthy succumb to influenza, and unfortunately that does include children.


"The Americans started to recognise this as being a significant thing about three or four years ago in one of their worst winters that they'd had for a while, when they recorded something like 150 odd childhood deaths.


"And when they looked at those, they found that about half of them were in children who had identifiable risk conditions. But the other half, there was no identified risk condition. And so they're now monitoring, each year, this phenomenon of childhood deaths.


"We really haven't seen it in a significant level, or we haven't recorded in a significant level in Australia in the past, but undoubtedly, if you look hard and if we did have a register of this, we would see probably a few deaths occurring in most years."


Dr Hampson says, unlike adults, children are susceptible to all forms of the virus.

"Kids, generally speaking, are going to be meeting all three families of influenza viruses - the two influenza As and the influenza B - something that's quite novel. And so they are likely to suffer a severe illness," he said.


"Usually, though, they do respond very well and bounce back very quickly, but there's just these rare occasions when the virus, or virus in combination with something else, such as a bacterial infection, then becomes overwhelming for the child."




there now has been 14th deaths of this deadly virus, and the health minister thinks that it is still not a case of emergency for the prescription drug to this virus to become available for those over the counter!!


i have already taken my daughter to the doctor and he thinks that she doesnt have the symptoms, but i think otherwise!!


for those in aus please get vaccinated against this thing!!!

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yup. Lots of deadun's from the flu this year.. I've noticed it heaps in the news.. like every few days a little baby dies of it! horrible.


Hope winter ends soon

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it seems to be ok now, just a massive gastro virus going around, ive already had it so has cait, i just hope i dont get it again grrr

they advertised it on the news lastnight that this is by far the worst winter yet!!!

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There may be more to the flu story than we're allowing for.  It doesn't make sense that we get the flu simply because we happen on a flu virus.  If it was easy to catch as that I'd expect there'd be a lot more cases than we're seeing.  

I get a dose every 4 or 5 years and it always seems to hit me after I've been doing a job that's exposed me to a lot of pesticides or diesel exhaust fumes. (Or both.)

What I notice is by the time I'm over it, after a week or more in bed, I feel very refreshed.  I sleep better than ever and wake in the morning with my body feeling like it's in peak shape.

There's no denying when we get the flu our bodies' immune systems explode into action and perhaps it's not a coincidence that that's exactly what we needed.  That's been my experience anyway.

Based on that, when it hits I don't try to suppress my immunity with drug treatments.  I go to bed with a hot-water-bottle, drink lots of blood temp purified water, and make some strong ginger tea with honey to help with the coughing and nasal and bronchial congestion.  And keep a cuspidor beside the bed.  Then I wait it out for as long as it takes.

'hope this is of some help to somebody.

Edited by tonio

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Since the original post was almost 10 years ago and none of the people who posted have been active in the past year, I'd refrain from trying to add to a long-dormant thread. (per MUT terms of service, necroposting is not allowed.)

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