IN CHARGE: Dr Dilip Kumar, clinical director of the Gladstone Hospital emergency department, says August was the busiest month in the ED with 2579 patients.
IN CHARGE: Dr Dilip Kumar, clinical director of the Gladstone Hospital emergency department, says August was the busiest month in the ED with 2579 patients. Chris Lees

Central Queensland battles one of its worst flu seasons yet

CENTRAL Queensland has battled one of its worst flu years yet with more than 2000 cases reported to the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service.

Queensland Health data confirmed there were 2399 lab-confirmed influenza cases, almost triple the average of 859 for Central Queensland.

Fewer people contracted chlamydia and gonorrhoea this year, with 917 and 94 cases respectively.

Gladstone Hospital director emergency medicine Dr Dilip Kumar described this year's flu season as "significant" for Central Queensland and Australia.

Dr Kumar said Gladstone Hospital's emergency department had its busiest month in August, when it saw 2579 patients.

"There are various reasons for this, but this is traditionally a busy time due to seasonal conditions, including influenza," Dr Kumar said.

"This year's flu season was significant for Gladstone and the wider Central Queensland community as it was for the whole of Australia.

"Gladstone Hospital coped well, and I thank our staff for their efforts throughout the year."

This year, to December 22, there were 28,343 patients through the doors of the emergency department, compared with 26,568 during the same period in 2016.

Dr Dilip said hospital staff looked forward to some relief in 2018 when works continue to finalise the new $42 million emergency department.

"It will provide a state-of-the-art facility to the people of Gladstone and allow our staff to give even better care," he said.

THE NUMBERS | Infections in Central Queensland

2017:

Blood borne viruses:

Hepatitis B (newly acquired): 2

Hepatitis C (newly acquired): 35

Gastro diseases:

Salmonellosis: 301

Vaccine preventable:

Influenza (lab confirmed): 2399

Sexually transmissible infection:

Chlamydia: 917

Gonorrhoea: 94

Mosquito borne diseases

Ross River virus: 159

YTD mean 2012 - 16:

Blood borne viruses:

Hepatitis B (newly acquired): 2

Hepatitis C (newly acquired): 18

Gastro diseases:

Salmonellosis: 270

Vaccine preventable:

Influenza (lab confirmed): 859

Sexually transmissible infection:

Chlamydia: 968

Gonorrhoea: 104

Mosquito borne diseases

Ross River virus: 211

* 2017 statistics are from January 1 - December 17.

* Statistics are for the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service.


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