GOOD STATS: Warwick is faring well in flu season.
GOOD STATS: Warwick is faring well in flu season.

Southern Downs is fighting off flu bug

THE Southern Downs continues to defy national flu trends with only an increase of two cases over those reported this time last year.

The number of people struck down with the flu nationally has risen by 50% over last year.

And in Queensland 4064 cases have been reported.

But on the Southern Downs, 39 influenza notifications have been made - only two over last year's total of 37.

A national rush of flu cases has occurred nationally with 2000 extra cases reported in the past week alone.

Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley said last year's flu season had been one of the worst on record.

This year the number of flu sufferers nationally has climbed by about 5000.

More than 3000 deaths are attributed to the flu in Australia each year.

The Darling Downs Public health Unit acting director Dr Katie Panaretto has called on people to seek vaccinations.

She said that as the flu season usually peaked in August and September people still had time to protect themselves.

"The flu vaccination is free for some members of the community including those with chronic illnesses; those over 65; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged from six months to five years and 15 and over; and pregnant women," she said.

People are advised to discuss vaccinations with their family doctor.