A Fifth Child Has Died From The Flu In Victoria This Year

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A fifth child is dead as Victoria's flu death toll climbs to 76 people so far this year.

Sixty-one people in residential aged care, 10 adults in the general community and five children have died from the flu in 2019, the latest health department figures show.

More than 40,000 people have been diagnosed with the flu in Victoria this year, a spokesman said.

The age of the fifth child and date of their death have not been released by the department.

A 13-year-old girl who was also one of the latest child-victims died three days after falling ill with the flu earlier on July 5, according to a post by the girl's grandmother on Facebook.

Children aged three, six and 11 also had flu-related deaths this year.

"We have seen this early onset of the flu for this year," the health spokesman said.

"People should protect themselves where possible and prevention is key.

"Immunisation is part of that and good personal hygiene such as coughing into your elbow rather than your hand and causing the virus to spread to other surfaces."

Staying home from work if sick, or not sending ill children to school will help prevent the spread of the flu, he added.

Flu cases dropped to about 11,000 last year following an alarming 2017 where more than 48,000 people were diagnosed with the illness.

Under the national immunisation program, the federal government ordered another near-one million influenza shots, including 500,000 to Melbourne, due to demand.

The state government has also made the flu jab free for various groups of people including children aged six months to five years, adults 65 or older and pregnant women.

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31 July 2019




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