Across the state, this flu season is shaping up as one of the most savage on record, with more than double the number of confirmed cases so far compared to last year.
However, the Mid North Coast health district has been relatively mildly affected, with only 47 recorded cases for the last week of July, representing a rate of 21.14 per 100,000 of population.
In comparison, our neighbours to the south and north report an incidence of flu roughly twice that.
Hunter New England recorded 483 cases in the week ending July 30 (51.95 per 100,000 population), while Northern NSW had 122 (39.8 per 100,000).
August is traditionally the worst month for flu, and NSW Health warn influenza activity is expected to remain high for the next few weeks.
According to the NSW Health Influenza Surveillance Report covering 60 emergency departments across the state, the highest rates in NSW for influenza – in order – were in Western Sydney (101.25 per 100,000), Nepean-Blue Mountains (88.36 per 100,000), Northern Sydney (85.11 per 100,000) – followed by Sydney (61.24), Southern NSW (55.59), South East Sydney (54.97), Illawarra-Shoalhaven (52.61), Hunter New England (51.95), South Western Sydney (42.01) and Central Coast (44.01).
It’s important to note that the weekly reports do not cover every case of influenza that occurs.
The reports include data from a range of sources related to Emergency Department illness surveillance, laboratory (virological) surveillance, and community illness surveillance.
It’s not too late to get the 2017 vaccine, and it is free for some groups, including pregnant women; Indigenous people aged between 6 months to less than 5 years and 15 years and over; older individuals (aged 65 years and older); and individuals with chronic medical conditions.