Flu cases ‘rising in spectacular fashion’


The flu continues to sweep through Canterbury with 35 to 48 patients a day showing influenza symptoms or similar at Christchurch Hospital.

Canterbury District Health Board forecasters predict by August, it could expect 450-500 admissions related to the flu a week.

CDHB chief executive David Meates said the number of people testing positive for influenza has been “rising in spectacular fashion.”

An early onset of the flu eason means the health system has had “a June like no other,” he said.

Between March and May, three patients died in Christchurch hospitals from complications related to influenza. All had pre-existing conditions.

Mr Meates said influenza immunisation rates have increased since last year, but a large number of people are still becoming unwell in spite of this.

By the end of May, 198,756 influenza vaccine doses had been distributed in Canterbury this year – 10,000 more than were distributed over the whole of last year.

Mr Meates said staffing levels have been increased to cater for patients.