This year, 105 Australians have died from the flu.
37 New South Welshman.
17 South Australians.
Annique’s 61-year-old uncle Mark was one of these numbers.
He died one week ago.
Listen to Annique’s story on The Quicky. Post continues after podcast.
“I might be coming down with something,” Mark had told Annique when she’d invited him around on Mother’s Day. “I feel a bit off.”
Three days later, the family checked in on him. “Do you need anything?” they asked.
“No no, I am fine, I don’t want you to catch it, but I am definitely out of the woods, I feel so much better, I am going to cook up a nice meal tonight,” he replied.
Two days later, he collapsed in the bathroom.
The next morning he was in the ICU on life support.
“His kidneys are failing,” the family was told by Mark’s shocked doctor who had only done a full panel of normal bloods two weeks earlier.
The next day, Sunday, he started to turn blue.
“We couldn’t fathom what we were looking at, just a week ago he was uncle Mark, he was bubbly, he was bright,” Annique told The Quicky.
On the Monday, the family was told to say goodbye, and made the excruciating decision to remove his life support tubes.
Mark took one breath, and died.
The cruel irony was he had booked in for his flu shot that very day.
In two weeks, Mark came down with and died from influenza A.
It’s highly contagious and can be spread to anyone in a six foot radius in one cough or sneeze.
Health authorities around the country are begging Australians to get the flu shot.
Diagnoses are currently twice the five year average and that’s just counting those who are going to their GP.
Why is it so high?
Because the flu is ever evolving and hard to predict year on year.
“The influenza vaccine is designed to cover all the strains of the virus that cause illness but they come in many different types,” Professor Kanta Subbarao from the World Health Organisation’s collaborative centre for influenza research told The Quicky.