More than 100 elderly killed by influenza in Australian state

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-02 14:52:38|Editor: Mengjie
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CANBERRA, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- A horror flu season has resulted in the deaths of 116 people in an Australian state's aged care system, it has been revealed.

The Victorian Government on Monday pledged an additional 89.9 million U.S. dollars for the state's health system to help it deal with the deadly influenza virus.

Jill Hennessy, Victoria's health minister, confirmed that the aged care death toll had risen to 116, up from 95 in mid-September.

An eight-year-old girl died in September after falling ill with the flu while Sarah Hawthorn, 33, remains in a coma with the disease having given birth while in the coma.

"We have had over 14,000 notifications of influenza this year in Victoria - that is more than double what we had last year," Hennessy told reporters in Melbourne on Monday.

"We are being advised that the flu season may have peaked, but we'd like to see some greater evidence of that because, certainly, the demand on our health system continues."

The additional funding will be shared between the state's public hospitals and rural nursing centers.

Hennessy on Monday said she had written to federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, urging him to install a national vaccination program.

Lou Irving, a respiratory medicine doctor at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH), said he supported the push for a national program.

"This has been a perfect storm; there've been three separate viruses circulating," Irving told Australian media.

"There's a cohort of unvaccinated people, including young children, that have been spreading the illness.

"There's a peak and it's beginning to drop, fingers crossed... although there is 'background flu' now even out of season."