Why are Australian children dying from the flu and what can we do to prevent it?

Thu, 10 Aug 2023 01:40:38 +1000

Andrew Pam <xanni [at] glasswings.com.au>

Andrew Pam

"Health authorities are urging more young people to get the flu vaccine amid
warnings that children are at heightened risk from influenza strains
circulating this season.

An 11-year-old Queensland girl was the second young person reported to die from
influenza this week, after a student on the New South Wales Central Coast died
days after contracting the virus.

The Doherty Institute’s Prof Ian Barr, who is deputy director of the World
Health Organization’s collaborating centre for reference and research on
influenza, said flu strains circulating this winter had a greater impact on
young people.

“The viruses which are circulating this year are influenza A(H1N1) and B
viruses – both of these viruses affect children more than the elderly,” he
said. “We haven’t seen the B viruses around much for the last two years.”

Children make up a significant proportion of the 153,941 laboratory-confirmed
flu cases this year to date. As of 13 July there have been 19,241 cases
reported in under-fives, 31,172 cases in five- to nine-year-olds, and 18,678 in
10- to 14-year-olds.

More than a third of all cases reported nationally have been in NSW (53,343),
with Queensland reporting the second-highest number of infections (48,342).

State health authorities across the country told Guardian Australia they had
seen high infection and hospitalisation rates in children."

       *** Xanni ***
mailto:xanni@xanadu.net               Andrew Pam
http://xanadu.com.au/                 Chief Scientist, Xanadu
https://glasswings.com.au/            Partner, Glass Wings
https://sericyb.com.au/               Manager, Serious Cybernetics

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