Okay I don’t want to follow up the last post with another to try and paint a picture that the sky is falling.Influenza (Flu) can kill. That’s my point. It can kill your loved ones – very young, elderly, those with comorbidities. In 2017, the Australian winter’s Flu season has been about the elderly; someone’s grandmother or grandfather, aunt or uncle, brother or sister, mum or dad, son or daughter. The virus cannot discriminate between them or their beliefs, the colour of their skin or who they choose to love.
Viruses infect the cell in front of them if it suitably hugs them, welcomes them inside and has the right stuff in the pantry.Flu can cause pneumonia directly or pave the way for a bacterial pneumonia, which has been called the old man’s friend” (elderly person’s friend would be better considered version).[1,2,3] Pneumococcal vaccines and Flu vaccines can help reduce cases of pneumonia.
Yesterday we saw another report of “a number of deaths” in a long term care facility in Tasmania, Australia. (Update: 6 deaths) The facility had an outbreak of influenza A virus. This raises the same questions as in the last post – plus the following:
- how many deaths (see anew Tweet below, from ABC news Tasmania this morning)?
- were healthcare workers vaccinated? If not, why not?
- were the residents treated with antivirals or antibiotics?
ABC understands at least five elderly people died during a flu outbreak in August at the Strathdevon aged care home in Tasmania’s north
— ABC News Tasmania (@abcnewsTas) September 2, 2017
In Australia we are lucky to have government funded Flu vaccination for the medically risk groups listed below. If you fall into one of these categories, talk to your GP about vaccination.