Reported flu cases higher in Young in 2019

Young pharmacist Tom Mok has offered his thoughts on the 2019 flu season.
Young pharmacist Tom Mok has offered his thoughts on the 2019 flu season.

Sixty-one confirmed flu cases have been reported in Young so far this year.

Murrumbidgee Local Health District last week reported the amount of positive tests in Young, with 2922 confirmed across the entire district.

It's a big rise from nine recorded cases in Young in 2018, while in 2017 there was 206.

Pharmacist Tom Mok, from Young, explained his thoughts regarding the figures.

He believes doctors are taking a more proactive approach compared to recent years.

"Flu is seasonal and so every few years you can have a bigger spread. I think doctors are also more proactive about it. That can increase the amount of confirmed cases," he said.

"I think they [doctors] are more free to see more patients, who can be referred to pathology and have the cases confirmed."

Mr Mok said pharmacies are delivering more and more flu vaccines each year, and referred to a term called "herd immunity".

"In terms of flu vaccination, we have more people having the flu vaccination but obviously not enough people to protect the whole community.

"If you don't get vaccinated, you're more likely to get infected. The more people vaccinated protects those who aren't.

"Vaccination is not 100 per cent so you need more people to get vaccinated to protect the ones that aren't vaccinated. That's how it works. It's called herd immunity.

"We vaccinate more people in pharmacies but obviously it's not up to the amount it should be. But it's getting better."

The more people vaccinated protects those who are aren't.

Tom Mok, pharmacist

While 61 confirmed cases is a lot more than last year, Mr Mok said the severity of the virus this year isn't as bad as first thought.

"Considering how many people are in the area, 61 is not a lot," he said.

"Last year the flu cases weren't that bad, the year before was and then the government started pushing the flu vaccines. Which makes sense in the data.

"[This] flu season came in quicker. It's not as bad now as they thought it was going to be."

Mr Mok added that the flu vaccine had all but stopped being delivered with the flu season ending this month.

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