Deadly 'Aussie flu' a wake-up call for 'complacent' Australia

The dreaded ‘Aussie flu’ currently wreaking havoc on the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States should act as a “wake-up call” for complacent Aussies who see the flu as little worse than the common cold, the Australian Medical Association has warned.

In last year’s horror flu season, 745 Australians died in laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza – roughly four times the number of Aussies killed by the swine flu pandemic of 2009.

The H3N2 virus, an aggressive and fast-mutating strain of influenza A now dubbed the ‘Aussie flu’, accounted for more than half of all flu cases across the nation in 2017.

It’s this mutated strain that globetrotters have since transported to our northern friends. It spread to all but two UK cities in a matter of days, putting hospitals under strain and prompting some to prohibit visitors. A number of Northern Ireland churches have even banned handshakes to combat the risk of infection.