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What is Australian flu? How to prevent the virus and the symptoms to look out for

One in four patients admitted to hospital with influenza is suffering from Aussie flu Credit: elenaleonova

The super-charged Australian flu virus sweeping Britain has been busy claiming alarming numbers of victims and creating an NHS crisis on a new scale. 

In what is now shaping up to be the country’s worst flu crisis in 20 years, 85 people have died so far this winter. In the first week of the year, flu cases accounted for 22,000 visits to GPs, with 114 sufferers reported as fighting for their lives in intensive care.

Among the victims was 18-year-old Bethany Walker, from Applecross, Scotland, who died after her flu symptoms developed into pneumonia.

More than three million people at high risk of flu have not yet been vaccinated despite the biggest wave of “public fear” since swine flu in 2009, health chiefs have said.

A letter sent to every GP practice in England warns they have just two weeks left in which to vaccinate patients against this winter’s virulent outbreak, which has already claimed...

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