Australians are being warned they could catch the brutal flu as the number of cases is 100 times higher than last year.
According to the Australian Government’s National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System, there have been over 40,000 cases of laboratory-confirmed flu so far in 2023, with more than 8,173 cases diagnosed in the first half of May alone.
Daniel Seldon, chief executive of Aussie Pharma Direct, said that if people are not vaccinated, almost everyone will be affected by the disease this winter.
Australians are warned they could catch a brutal flu as the number of cases is 100 times higher than last year (pictured is a woman vaccinated against Covid)
In 2023 there have already been over 40,000 cases of laboratory-proven influenza
“The chances of you getting it are very high, I got it,” he said.
“For me, it was a week that I was flat and about three weeks that I recovered from the symptoms.”
More than three-quarters (77 percent) had influenza A, known as “childhood flu,” not because of its effects, but because the disease has engulfed kindergartens and preschools across the board.
People aged five to nine have the highest rate of infection, followed by those under four and those aged 10 to 14.
Despite the high rate of children catching the flu, they are among the least vaccinated children: less than 6 per cent of children under the age of five have received a flu shot, which Mr Seldon described as a “problem”.
To prevent children from bringing unwanted germs home, Mr Seldon advises parents to sanitize their hands first thing after school.
It appears that parents are already taking responsibility as Aussie Pharma Direct has seen a 200 per cent surge in sales of face masks, sanitizer and the new Dual Antigen Rapid Test Kit, which tests for Covid-19 and Influenza A- and B strains.
Pharmacist Daniel Seldon said that if people don’t get vaccinated, almost everyone will be affected by the disease this winter (pictured: commuters in Sydney)
The most common place people contract an illness is while traveling on public transport. Mr Seldon is urging people to stay away from those who are coughing and sniffling and to consider putting on a mask on the train.
Mr Seldon himself contracted influenza A shortly after being vaccinated, but before his body could get the full benefit of the vaccine, and he describes the symptoms as “much worse” than those of his Covid-19 illness.
“I’m still suffering, it was really in my chest,” he said.
“I lay in bed for about a week and then just couldn’t get rid of this cough. It’s still there, sitting in the lungs, so to speak.”
He says now is not the time to forget hygiene lessons learned during the pandemic as they could potentially save Australians from a bad case of flu.