August is the worst month on record for the flu in NSW

It will come as no surprise to anyone who has sniffled, sneezed and spluttered their way through the last part of winter but official figures have confirmed that August 2017 was the worst month on record for flu cases in NSW.


NSW Health data shows there were 35,670 confirmed flu cases in NSW in August, more than double the number of cases in July.

The three worst previous months were July 2017 with 16,686 cases, August 2016 with 13,602 cases and August 2015 with 12,901 cases.

Flu cases hit an all-time high in August.

NSW Health has recorded almost 60,000 flu cases this year which is an all-time high and almost twice as many as the 35,538 cases diagnosed in 2016.

The figures show most cases occurred in Sydney with 42,588 people laid low this year.

The flu hot spots were Western Sydney, Nepean-Blue Mountains and South West Sydney local area health districts, where more than a third of the state’s flu-ridden people were treated in 2017.

The data shows a sharp increase in flu diagnoses in other local health districts across the state, including the Hunter-New England district with 6096 cases compared with 3267 in 2016; the Illawarra-Shoalhaven district with 2849 cases compared with 1253 in 2016; the Central Coast district with 2072 cases compared with 1083 in 2016; the Northern district with 1649 cases compared with 963 in 2016; and the Mid-North Coast district with 879 cases compared with 475 in 2016.

NSW Health offers a free flu vaccination to certain groups, including people aged over 65, pregnant women, people with medical conditions that predispose them to the flu and some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, depending on their age.

A number of employers also offer staff members a free shot to keep the flu at bay.

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