Aussie flu is just one of the strains of the influenza virus that has been affecting millions of people around the world this year.
The H3N2 strain was given the nickname ‘Aussie flu’ after it caused problems in Australia during its winter.
Since the beginning of October, flu has been spreading through the UK, and with reports areas of the USA are now suffering, experts have described the outbreak as one of the worst epidemics since Spanish flu.
Has Aussie flu spread to the US?
Aussie flu is quickly spreading across the US, with New York City one of 26 states reporting high flu levels in outpatient clinics.
The highly infectious virus has compounded the damage usually wrought by the annual flu outbreak, according to Bloomberg.
But which areas in the US have been most affected?
Aussie flu: According to the map the flu is widespread across mainland USA
Aussie flu: The number of flu-like illnesses every week in the UK since beginning of October
Aussie flu is widespread across mainland USA as well as Alaska
A map produced by FluView has revealed the states worst hit by the virus.
Brown indicates where flu is widespread, orange where there are regional cases, yellow where there’s just local activity, brown and white where cases are sporadic, orange and white for no activity and white for no reports.
Where in the US has Aussie flu been reported?
According to the map, flu is widespread across mainland USA as well as Alaska.
Hawaii and Guam have had regional activity and the District of Columbia local activity.
The US Virgin Islands has also reported sporadic cases of the virus amongst its population.
Aussie flu: This shows the number of GP visits for flu-like symptoms
As of the week ending January 6, Puerto Rico is yet to have any cases of influenza reported.
Dan Jernigan, director of the influenza division at the national Centre for Immunisation and Respiratory Diseases, told Bloomberg: “Flu is everywhere in the US right now. This is the first year we have had the entire continental US be the same colour on the graph, meaning there is widespread activity in all of the continental US at this point.”
Is there Aussie flu in the UK?
In the UK 85 people have died from flu since the beginning of October, Public Health England revealed in a report last week.
A Flusurvey map shows a gradient from no reported influenza-like illness (blue), to very high reports of influenza-like illness (red).
As of Wednesday morning, the North-East of England was the most affected area.
Aussie flu: The number of cases of the virus is spreading across the UK
Aussie flu is just one of the strains of the influenza virus
Other locations across the UK that are in the red include:
• Cornwall and West Devon,
• Aberdeen, Scotland
• Dundee, Scotland
• Leeds, England
• Ipswich, England
• Derby, England
• Cardiff, Wales
Llandrindod Wells, Wales, was the least affected area. Blackburn, Walsall and North London were also in the blue.
But, there are significantly more red zones than reported on Friday January 5.
Aussie flu: Puerto Rico is yet to have any cases reported
Symptoms of Aussie flu have been described as similar to those caused by normal flu, but more severe.
The NHS outlines nine flu symptoms:
- A sudden fever – a temperature of 38C or above
- Aching body
- Feeling tired or exhausted
- Dry, chesty cough
- Sore throat
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Diarrhoea or tummy pain
- Nausea and being sick
To help you get better more quickly, the NHS has also advised the best way to treat flu.
The Public Health England report released last week revealed 85 people have died from influenza since October 5, with 27 of those coming in the first week of January.
Almost 2,000 people have been hospitalised by flu this winter and about one in four of those cases were caused by the deadly Aussie flu.
The amount of people visiting their GP for flu-like illnesses has risen by 78 per cent, as PHE urges people to get the flu jab.
Will the flu jab protect against Aussie flu?
Dr Ben Coyle, medical director at the Now Healthcare Group, says the flu vaccine can act as protection.
“Yes the jab can help. It may not work in all instances because of the possibilities of the viruses mutating, but you definitely won’t be protected if you don’t have it.
“It’s still available so get it done!”