Borne to be mild: Flu season is officially over

Upswing in vaccinations helps to avoid a repeat of last year's 'brutal' season

NSW has officially declared the state’s 2018 flu season over — and the mildest in five years in part due to an upswing in vaccinations.

Just over 15,000 confirmed cases of influenza have been recorded in NSW from January to October 17, compared with more than 101,000 cases for the same period in last year’s horror season.

Influenza-related deaths also fell from 661 in 2017, to 31 for the year to date.

The NSW Director of Communicable Diseases, Dr Vicky Sheppeard, said fewer than 5% of swab tests in the past week found flu virus, which was the threshold used to mark the beginning and end of the flu season.

This year, the season began in the first week of August and lasted nine weeks, peaking in the first week of September.

Australia-wide, federal government figures tell a similar story, with a total of just over 41,100 notifications for the year to date, compared with 215