What is Aussie flu? Everything you need to know about the influenza virus

Man suffering from flu at his desk. Picture Getty Images/iStockphoto.

Man suffering from flu at his desk. Picture Getty Images/iStockphoto. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Health bosses are urging people to get themselves vaccinated as flu cases are on the rise across Norfolk and Waveney. And among the mixture of flu strains being caught by people is the so-called Aussie flu.

What is Aussie flu?

The influenza virus can change every year, which means the flu people contract this year will be different from the one last year.

And the official name for this year's flu is H3N2. It has been dubbed Aussie flu as it is the same strain that caused big problems for Australia during its winter season, leading to its worst flu season for nearly a decade.

More than 217,000 Australians had confirmed cases of the virus last year, more than double the previous record.


You may also want to watch:


What are the symptoms?

Any strain of flu, including Aussie flu, can be dangerous for people who are vulnerable to it, such as the elderly.

Most Read

The symptoms of most flu, including H3N2, are the same but some can be worse than others.

Key symptoms include:

• A sudden fever, with temperatures of 38C or above

• Aching body

• Feeling tired or exhausted

• Dry, chesty cough

• Sore throat

• Headache

How many cases are in Norfolk?

A Public Health England spokesperson for the East of England said flu consultation rates in Norfolk had increased from 2.9 to 17.4 over four weeks at the end of 2017.

Swaffham Community Hospital had to close its doors to new admissions last week due to an outbreak of flu.

And among the mixture of flu strains being caught by people is the so-called Aussie flu.

But the vaccine uptake in the region during that time was higher within at-risk groups, compared to the same time last year.

How is it treated?

There is not one treatment that can stop all types of flu due to the different strains.

According to NHS Choices people suffering from influenza should rest and sleep, keep warm, take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower temperature and treat aches and pains and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter