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Australia's Flu Season Foreshadows Mixed Results For the USA

September 19, 2022 • 5:09 pm CDT
Null School
(Precision Vaccinations)

The Australian Influenza Surveillance Report published last week revealed some good and puzzling news for the USA. Since the Southern Hemisphere's flu season generally impacts northern countries, health leaders pay attention to Australia's data.

Australia's Department of Health and Aged Care confirmed on September 16, 2022, that 'the impact for the flu season to date, as measured through the rate of FluTracking respondents and the number of sentinel hospital patients with influenza, is 'low to moderate.'

And the 'weekly number of notifications of laboratory-confirmed influenza in 2022 had decreased to below the weekly 5-year average since mid-July 2022.'

In the year to date, there have been 223,678 notifications reported to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System in Australia, of which 1,351 notices (less than 1%) had an influenza diagnosis, and 295 influenza-associated deaths have been notified.

While reporting a moderate flu season is good news, influenza vaccine effectiveness against the circulating viruses is another essential measurement.

Annual flu shots are typically around 40–60% effective.

Based on preliminary estimates from Australia's sentinel hospitals, vaccine effectiveness appears at the lower end of the moderate range in 2022.

'It is important to note that due to the COVID-19 epidemic in Australia, data reported from the various influenza surveillance systems may not represent an accurate reflection of activity, and these results should be interpreted cautiously.'

Previously, the WHO published Influenza Update N° 427 on September 5, 2022.

This WHO report stated, 'Globally, influenza activity remained low.'

  • In Oceania, detections of primarily influenza A(H3N2) decreased overall, and influenza-like activity was at or returned to low levels in most Pacific Island countries.
  • In Southern Africa, influenza activity remained stable.
  • In temperate South America, influenza activity remained low.
  • In the Caribbean and Central American countries, low influenza activity was reported.

The U.S. CDC supports early flu vaccinations before the arrival of the 2022-2023 influenza season.

As with any vaccination, speaking with your healthcare provider about your vaccine options is the best advice.

Flu shots are generally available at most pharmacies and clinics in the USA.

Other flu shot news is posted at PrecisionVaccinations.com/Flu.

Note: This report was manually translated and curated for mobile readership.

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