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Victorian child dies of flu during significant summer outbreak

A young child has died in Victoria due to what health authorities have labelled one of the biggest summer outbreaks of flu the state has seen.

The deputy chief health officer Brett Sutton confirmed a young child died from the outbreak and said it was likely there had been other deaths this year.

“Statistically there would be, because out of thousands of cases of flu, there’ll always be a small percentage who get severely affected and tragically die,” Dr Sutton told Melbourne radio station 3AW.

“It’s definitely one of the bigger summer seasons we’ve seen.”

Dr Sutton said the strain of flu involved had had a heavy impact on those affected.

“Symptoms are usually [a] runny nose, sore throat, muscle aches and pains, high fever — but unlike a normal cold where you might have a day off work or might even stay at work, it knocks you for six and people are left on the sofa for a week, can’t go anywhere and feel absolutely awful,” he said.

‘Get immunised’, authorities urge

“Anyone’s vulnerable and even fit and healthy individuals can become significantly unwell.”

He said VicHealth did not know what strain of flu it was, but stressed the need for at-risk people to get immunised.

“We really don’t know what kind of strain is circulating, the vaccine is based, on a best guess, from what’s circulated in the northern hemisphere up until now but it’s yet to play out for this season.”

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Source: ABC News