WARNING: Two of worst weeks on record for influenza

INFLUENZA cases have spiked across the Fraser Coast with two of the worst weeks on record this year.

House Call Doctor assistant clinical director Doctor Ryan Harvey said a few weeks ago it was gastro and now doctors were busy treating patients with bad bouts of the flu.

"Respiratory illness, body aches, fevers. We are seeing a lot of it."

Queensland Health's Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report shows reported cases of influenza have been the highest they've been all year across the Wide Bay. Last week there were 31 reported cases of Influenza and the week before 37.

Dr Harvey said the official figures were only a snapshot of how bad the flu season has been.

"They are a snapshot of who has been tested, not evidence of how much flu is really around because most people don't get tested," he said. House Call Doctor Fraser Coast area manager Alex Haynes said in the past fortnight up to half of the patients House Call Doctor had treated in Maryborough and Hervey Bay had flu- related symptoms.

"We had 98 patients in the system by late afternoon on Sunday and nearly half of the patients we saw last night had the flu."

Mr Haynes said local doctors were treating people with high temperatures, really sore throats and respiratory problems.

"They call us when they can't wait until the morning to see their doctor. When they need urgent care and don't want to have to go to the hospital."

The latest Queensland Health report shows more women than men have contracted influenza this year. The World Health Organisations Collaborative Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza has found the circulating strains are covered by the 2016 quadrivalent vaccine.

Dr Harvey said some patients who had the flu were also experiencing vomiting but the gastro outbreak had settled down.

House Call Doctor is a bulk-billed after hours home visiting service helping treat patients who urgently need medical attention when their GP is closed.

"We work with local GPs and clinics to make sure their patients are cared for after-hours and we send a patient report to their regular doctor the following morning so it is all about continuity of care," Mr Haynes said.


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