Flu puts more than 50 in intensive care

Hundreds of hospitalisations for flu in Queensland despite peak season still being months away


QUEENSLANDERS are being warned to brace for a horror flu season, with extra paramedics and nurses being brought into the health system to try to reduce the strain on choked hospitals.

Health Minister Cameron Dick yesterday implored Queenslanders to heed the warning about the upcoming season that has already led to more than 3200 cases in the state despite the peak still being three months away.

About 400 of these patients were hospitalised, with 57 put in the intensive-care unit.

There have been 1000 cases more than at the same time last year.

The case numbers this year are at least double the average from 2011-14.

“It looks like we are going to have a severe flu season … we are going to have large numbers of people coming in (to hospital),” Mr Dick said.

Queensland Health will use advanced CSIRO technology for the first time to try to get ahead of the disease.

This predictive technology – which can pick within hours when patients will flood an emergency room – will be used to ensure adequate staffing during peak demand.

The state’s recruitment program for paramedics has been brought forward.