'Brisbane Flu' Named As One Of The World's Worst Strains

Strain included in 2018 vaccination

Amy Drew

10 April 2018

Amy Drew

Article heading image for 'Brisbane Flu' Named As One Of The World's Worst Strains

If you thought last year's flu season was bad, think again. The World Health Organisation has recommended that a flu strain which originated in Brisbane, dubbed the 'Brisbane B', be included in this season's four strain vaccination.

It comes after the potentially-deadly bug was named among the world's most dangerous strains for the 2018 flu season, taking into account infection and fatality stats from the past year. Also included in the latest vaccination, the A strain (H1N1), the Singapore A and Phuket B strain.

We're still six weeks out from winter, but already more than 3,200 Queensland have been struck down with the flu, hundreds more than the same time last year. In 2017 there were 1,100 influenza deaths across the country.

Dr Deb Mills from The Travel Doctor clinic is urging everyone to get vaccinated sooner rather than later.

"We don't know when the actual influenza is going to hit and obviously this year it's hitting pretty early. When it's a new flu, the immune system of the whole population doesn't have any defence at all, it's like a terrorist with a new gun and no one knows how to fight it," she said.

Dr Mills said influenza will strike you down harder than the common cold, starting with symptoms like body aches.

"You start getting a little bit tired, achy joints and perhaps a fever, then people say they feel like they've been "hit by a bus". Usually with influenza, you have to go to bed for a couple of days. It's not a minor illness."

This year, the Queensland Government announced it would provide free influenza vaccines for children aged 6 months to less than 5 years.


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