29 deaths as WA flu cases soar

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE number of West Australians impacted by the horror flu season is continuing to soar with the number of confirmed cases nearly doubling to 10,000 just over the past week.

According to the Health Department’s latest winter respiratory illness and influenza data report released this afternoon there have been 9016 confirmed cases of influenza, up from 5777 cases reported last week and well up on the 1399 reported at the same time last year.

WA flu season the worst on record

There have been 1127 hospitalisations and 29 deaths linked to the virus.

The early arrival of the killer flu season has put pressure on emergency departments with ambulances ramped for more than 200 hours across Perth hospitals on Monday.

The Health Department says the flu season began about two months early and it was too soon to know whether it might also end early.

The department said there is currently no shortage of government-funded influenza vaccine however shortages have been reported in the private market.

It said parents of children aged 5 – 18 who were worried about the flu should continue checking with local GPs and pharmacies to ascertain availability of private stock.