20 September 2019
Flu cases have fallen for the third consecutive week, but it’s still too soon to call time on the longest flu season on record.

NSW Health’s Executive Director of Health Protection, Dr Jeremy McAnulty, said the Influenza Surveillance Report shows 2,590 cases for the week ending 15 September, down from 4,156 the previous week.

“2019 has certainly been the year of the flu, we’ve seen the longest flu season in the state since the 2009 pandemic,” Dr Jeremy McAnulty said. 

“Influenza A and B activity continues to fall across the state, with a decrease of 1,566 cases, but the overall influenza positive test rate remains above the seasonal threshold.” 

“Respiratory presentations to emergency departments, however, are within the usual range for this period.”

“Outbreaks in residential aged care facilities remain steady, with 18 reported this week. So we remind people to not visit the elderly if they are unwell and to take simple hygiene precautions because the virus can still spread this time of year.”  

“It’s never too late to get vaccinated,” Dr McAnulty said.

The yearly total of reported influenza cases is now 105,119. There have been 19 additional deaths reported this week, bringing the total fatalities to 233 for 2019.

Around 2.5 million doses of Government-funded flu vaccines have been distributed across NSW.

People aged 65 and over, pregnant women, Aboriginal people and people with certain medical conditions are eligible for free flu vaccine under the National Immunisation Program. The free state-funded vaccine is available to all children aged six months to five years.

The NSW Government will invest about $130 million in the 2019-20 Immunisation Program budget, including Commonwealth and state vaccines, including $2.6 million for free flu shots to children up to five years of age and a $1.5 million immunisation and influenza awareness campaign.