Urgent advice: Illness outbreak grips Sunshine Coast

RESIDENTS have been urged to consider vaccination with confirmed flu cases more than doubling the average for the Sunshine Coast.

As of July 30 there have been 76 admissions to public hospitals in the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service area this year.

Queensland Health said the Sunshine Coast region taking in Gympie, Noosa and Sunshine Coast local government areas has recorded 893 notifications of laboratory-confirmed influenza against a five-year average of 386 for the first seven months of the year.

The Sunshine Coast flu season typically occurs between May and October with the number of notified cases typically peaking in late August.

Sunshine Coast Local Medical Association president Dr Roger Faint said patients were presenting at doctors' surgeries suffering from significant impacts from the influenza.

"This is a particularly nasty strain," he said.

"I saw one patient I thought had pneumonia she was so unwell.

"Some patients have trouble even sitting up, they are very weak and washed out, suffer severe chills and fevers, lethargy, aches and pains as well as the usual coughs and runny noses."

Queensland Health says statewide, there have been 10,831 cases of laboratory-confirmed influenza, with 1324 admissions to public hospitals including 126 to intensive care (as at 30 July).

"Of the 10,831 cases, approximately 80% were for influenza type A and approximately 20% were for type B," a spokesperson said.

"Most of the type A specimens that have been sub-typed are for type A/H3N2. Seasons in which subtype A/H3N2 predominate have been associated with more common severe outcomes in older people.

Queensland Health said it was not too late to vaccinate which was recommended for every age group except children younger than six months of age.

Those most at risk of the impacts of flu include pregnant women during any trimester, adults aged over 65 years old, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of most ages and those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, or respiratory or cardiac.