NSW Sees Nearly 40% Surge in Influenza Cases in One Week, Prompting Higher Admissions to Emergency Departments

New South Wales Emergency Departments Overwhelmed by 40% Surge in Influenza Cases This Winter

A recent respiratory surveillance report from NSW Health has revealed a staggering 12,421 cases of influenza reported in the week ending June 22, marking a significant 38% increase from the previous week.

“Influenza is putting immense pressure on our emergency departments right now,” stated Health Minister Ryan Park.

The daily incidence of influenza cases has also more than tripled compared to the same period last year. In addition to influenza, rates of whooping cough and pneumonia, particularly among school-aged children, are unusually high. COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are also prevalent in the community.

Residents are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated against both COVID-19 and influenza. As of the latest data, NSW recorded 4,850 COVID-19 cases in the same week.

“Please ensure you are up to date with your COVID vaccinations, especially for the elderly who should receive regular boosters,” emphasized Chief Health Officer Dr. Kerry Chant. “For influenza, we need to see higher vaccination rates than current levels.”

Minister Park urged individuals feeling unwell to stay home and consult a general practitioner or use the Healthdirect telehealth service for non-life-threatening symptoms.

“Please reserve our emergency departments for those who truly need urgent care,” Mr. Park stressed. “The current strain on our EDs is significant.”

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