Queensland’s Top Doctor Warns Of “Significant Wave” Of Influenza

Queensland health experts are warning of an explosion of influenza cases this winter.

Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard said Queensland is likely to see a “significant wave” of influenza cases as well as “combined cases” of both influenza and Covid.

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“There is clinical and laboratory evidence that infection with both viruses is more severe than any one virus alone – we have seen more than a dozen combined infections and a number of those people have been hospitalised,” he said.

“One of the most obvious impacts has been on influenza transmission – influenza transmission around the world has been greatly reduced in the last two years and as a result many of us have not been exposed to the virus as we normally would and our general immunity is likely to be significantly decreased”

Dr Gerrard said the easing of pandemic health measures has led to an “increasing” number of influenza cases.

“So, as we had suspected, as our pandemic measures have relaxed, we are seeing increasing numbers of cases of influenza, and we are likely to see a significant wave of influenza on top of a COVID-19 this winter

“In Queensland last year there were just 296 confirmed cases of influenza from the entire 2021 by comparison so far this year we have seen more than 800 cases of influenza in Queensland,” Dr Gerrard said.

“Most of those have been in the last month and for the past three weeks the number of influenza cases has doubled every week for the past three weeks.”

“Even for those of you who are not used to getting an influenza vaccine, this is the year to get vaccinated against influenza,” Queensland’s top doctor urged.

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