The 2018 flu season appears to have been far milder than the horror winter of the previous year.
Director of public health for the Murrumbidgee region Tracey Oakman said 2018 had been an “excellent year” in terms of the mildness of the flu season.
Within the Murrumbidgee region, Ms Oakman said the number of confirmed flu cases had been quite low and there had not been any significant increase all season.
Generally, September is considered to be the peak period for flu cases.
“At a state level, the number of reported cases each week is already dropping,” Ms Oakman said.
In the week ending September 23, there were 828 cases of flu across NSW and 11 in Murrumbidgee.
The previous week, which ended on September 16, there were 18 cases in Murrumbidgee and 907 statewide.
These figures are in sharp contrast to a comparable period last year – the week ending on September 24, 2017, when there were 317 reported cases in Murrumbidgee, and 228 in the seven days prior to that.
Ms Oakman said the mildness of the 2018 flu season could be due to a number of factors, including the high take-up rate of the flu vaccine, and this vaccine being a good match for the flu virus that came in.
“We are grateful to the many people who took up the opportunity to have the flu vaccine and also to the state government for ensuring supplies remained available,” she said.
With the flu season peak past, Ms Oakman said public health officials were now gearing up for an increase in asthma.
Although asthma triggers vary in individuals, Ms Oakman said the last two weeks of October and first fortnight in November were considered to be the peak asthma alert period because of the high amount of thunderstorm activity.
Ms Oakman said people with asthma should make sure their action plans and medication were up-to-date.