Flu cases plummet by 80%

Science and a bit of luck helped keep numbers down this year

A little bit of luck, an upswing in immunisations and an improved vaccine have seen Australians through the 2018 influenza season in much better shape than last year.

Influenza cases have plummeted in Australia by more than 80% compared with last year’s record-breaking event, when more than 1100, mostly elderly, patients died.

As the end of the flu season approaches, latest Federal Government figures show around 40,000 cases of influenza have been reported from January to September this year, compared with more than 228,000 reports in the same period in 2017.

The AMA’s ACT president, Dr Antonio Di Dio, says the decrease is due to more people being immunised with a more effective vaccine this year.

"Every year the health authorities choose to keep some of the strains from the previous year and add one or two new strains to substitute for a new strain.

"It's basically a