Flu kills 10 people in WA this year

Stock image.
Stock image.

WESTERN Australia has recorded 10 flu-related deaths this year compared to four at the same time last year, the state health department says.

The official flu season has not started yet, but data from WA Health shows influenza activity is above inter-seasonal levels.

According to the latest statewide notifiable diseases weekly report, 3013 influenza cases have been reported for the year to date, compared to 1151 for the same period last year.

Health experts have been warning people to get vaccinated amid concerns of a particularly severe flu season this year.

The Red Cross has issued an urgent appeal for blood donations.

Meanwhile, an early start to the cold and flu season has taken a heavy toll on blood donations, with the Red Cross issuing an urgent appeal for help from health Aussies.

The Red Cross Blood Service needs 5,900 additional people to give blood over the next fortnight, with up to 1,400 donors cancelling their appointments each day due to illness.

The Red Cross says it urgently needs help, particularly donors with O and A type blood.

“We haven’t seen cancellations this high since March 2017, and as the number of people suffering cold and flu symptoms increases, it limits the number of regular donors who are able to give,” blood service spokeswoman Helen Walsh says.

“We need people who are fully recovered from colds or the flu, and those who have avoided it, to take the place of those who are unable to answer our call.”

People can still donate blood if they’ve had the flu shot.

Donors who have had colds or the flu can give blood again seven days after they have recovered.

Click here to make an appointment to give blood.

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