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Australia reports record flu cases in May

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Canberra, June 12 (IANS) Australia has reported a record 65,770 flu cases in May, which marked an increase of more than 100 per cent from the previous record set in May 2019, authorities said on Sunday.

As of June 5, 87,989 total influenza cases have been logged in Australia in 2022, according to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS).

Of those, 47,860, or 54 per cent, were reported in the two weeks leading up to June 5 as winter set in, reports Xinhua news agency.

“From mid-April 2022, the weekly number of notifications of laboratory-confirmed influenza reported in Australia has exceeded the five year average,” the NNDSS update said.

There have been 27 influenza-associated deaths in Australia in 2022 and 733 cases have been treated in hospital, 6 per cent of whom were admitted directly to intensive care.

By comparison, there were fewer than 1,000 influenza cases in Australia in 2021 and more than 21,000 in 2020 as a result of restrictions introduced to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Experts have warned that, with restrictions now lifted, Australia is facing an influenza resurgence over winter which, paired with a spike in Covid cases, could put significant pressure on the health system.

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