10 Aug 2016

Flu season hits Christchurch hardest

9:52 pm on 10 August 2016

Canterbury has so far been the only region to be hit hard by the flu this winter, with a big drop in the number of cases reported throughout the country.

Close up of flu vaccination (Tom Frieden,  Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) receives a flu vaccine September 17, 2015.)

Photo: AFP

Christchurch Hospital has had 370 flu-related hospital admissions so far this year, 70 more than this time last year.

It has been kept particularly busy with the A/H3N2 strain, which has hit older people hard, despite being targeted in this season's vaccine.

But the national weekly consultation rate for influenza-like illnesses was 18 per 100 thousand people, compared to a rate of 120 this time last year.

Health experts said flu was unpredictable and levels could still rise.

Those who qualify for the free vaccine have been urged to get it by the 31 August deadline.