Flu cases at record low, after-hours doctors say
After-hours doctors have seen a 93% decrease in flu-related callouts compared with last year, reporting that COVID-19 social distancing and hygiene practices are helping to curb the spread of influenza.
Queensland after-hours medical service House Call Doctor saw the dramatic reduction from June 2019 to June 2020. The service’s drop in callouts is backed by Immunisation Coalition figures, which show there were 57,842 confirmed cases of influenza in June 2019. As of 22 June 2020 there have been 93 confirmed cases.
House Call Doctor Clinical Director Dr Ryan Harvey said the decline in influenza cases reiterates the importance of general hygiene and social distancing to slow the spread of viruses.
“We can all do a lot more to prevent the spread of influenza and other viruses in the community,” Dr Harvey said.
“Maintaining good hygiene, washing our hands and staying home when feeling sick can make a big difference — and that’s what we can clearly see from the influence of coronavirus restrictions on flu numbers this season.”
Dr Harvey emphasised that it’s also important for people to get vaccinated.
“The best way to prevent influenza is by receiving an annual flu vaccine,” he said.
“This is especially important as schools return following the holidays and people begin heading back to the office as restrictions ease.”
So far this year there have been 5841 flu-like cases in Queensland compared with 132,015 cases in 2019. There have been no deaths reported so far.
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