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Influenza epidemic stretching hospital resources   
Friday, 24 August 2012

Produced by Michele Harris

Story audio


Queensland hospitals are delaying hundreds of elective surgery cases, as one of the worst influenza epidemics in recent years sweeps the state. Emergency wards are struggling to keep pace with the number of flu patients seeking treatment, with many sending elective surgery patients elsewhere.

Health authorities in Queensland normally expect to deal with around 6000 cases of flu every year, but this year, the number is already well over 9000 - with nearly 5000 people diagnosed in just the last month. Australian Medical Association Queensland President, Doctor Alex Markwell, says although hospital admissions for the flu actually decreased over the past week, the impact of this winter's flu epidemic will affect elective surgery for at least another few weeks.

Featured in story
Dr Alan Hampson, Chairman, Australian Influenza Specialist Group
Dr Alex Markwell, President, Australian Medical Association Queensland

Related Links
Australian Influenza Specialist Group
Australian Medical Association Queenslandstralian
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