Flu cases coming in at more than double expected rate
WHOOPING cough is not the infectious disease causing most concern on the Sunshine Coast.
The flu is the biggest problem, resulting in 10 hospitalisations this year so far, and it is only the start of the season.
Figures for whooping cough are at a low in the region despite one incident being reported at Cooran State School this week.
Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service public health physician Dr Andrew Langley said there had been 41 case notifications of whooping cough (pertussis) this year in the Sunshine Coast, Noosa and Gympie council areas.
Of those 41 notifications, about 90% were residents in the Sunshine Coast Council area, but this was only 20% of the average number of notifications (210) for this time of the year in the region.
In comparison, a total of 168 cases of influenza have already been detected in the Sunshine Coast, Noosa and Gympie council areas.
"This is 2.3 times the average number of notifications for this time of the year in the area," Dr Langley said.
"The most recent available data indicates there have been 10 hospitalisations of people with influenza to Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service hospitals."
State-wide to May 3, 1977 cases of influenza had been detected.
Of these, 75% were influenza type A and 25% influenza B.
Influenza A was the most common in the recent northern hemisphere winter and tended to be associated "with increased risk of severe disease and complications".
The Daily's online article yesterday about a whooping cough incident at Cooran State School sparked another angry debate between those for and against vaccination.
Dr Langley said the vaccination rate data showed in Cooran's postcode, 89% of children under five were up to date with their recommended vaccinations.
This is below the 93% vaccination rate the Australian Medical Association of Queensland recommends for safety in a community.