Australian flu season could hit us early

Date: 8 February 2023

Australian vaccine manufacturers are already preparing for an early flu season following a spike in cases in the northern hemisphere winter.

Both Europe and North America have recorded high or very high case numbers of flu during their winter and Australia is likely to follow suit.

England for example recorded an average of 344 patients entering hospitals each day with the flu in their first weekly winter update last month, more than ten times the number from the previous winter.

Elsewhere in Europe, Germany has recorded a 300 per cent increase in cases up to mid-January with weekly cases rising from 3,000 per week to 13,000.

The US has also recorded a spike in flu cases with the number of positive flu cases jumping from 18.2 per cent to 25.1 per cent in just one week.

So, what does this all mean for Australia?

Well, according to flu vaccine manufacturer CSL Seqirus, Australian flu cases are exacerbated by travellers returning from the northern hemisphere.

It says the World Health Organization (WHO) has already identified which influenza strains should be included in the southern hemisphere vaccines and that CSL Seqirus is already manufacturing vaccines in preparation for the Australian flu season.

Vaccinations are due to be rolled out for patients in pharmacies in late March and pharmacists should be informing their patients soon to be aware of the coming flu season and to get vaccinated.

CSL Seqirus says Australia followed the northern hemisphere last year in recording an increase in flu cases compared to the previous year and if this year is anything to go by, there’s likely to be an even bigger number of flu cases this Winter.

Contact: The Guild
Phone: 13GUILD

Page last updated on: 08 February 2023