THE Metro South hospital region - which includes Beaudesert, Logan and Redland hospitals - has overtaken Metro North to become the region with the most reported flu cases in Queensland.
Queensland Health's latest influenza surveillance report, released this week, shows Metro South now has the most confirmed flu cases since the start of the year, with 924 reported in the week to August 4.
Hospital admissions are also on the rise, with 447 so far reported. Children about the age of five have been hit the hardest, followed by the elderly.
Metro North - which includes Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital and Prince Charles Hospital, as well as hospitals in Caboolture, Redcliffe and Kilcoy - had seen the most total flu cases up until last week.
Nearly one per cent of the Metro South population has so far been struck down by flu. Of those, five per cent were hospitalised.
At least 83 Queenslanders have died from the flu so far this year.
August has historically seen the peak of flu season, with the Ekka - which opens its gates on Friday - notorious for spreading the illness.
Queensland Health's latest report came as palliative care specialist Dr Will Cairns wrote in The Medical Journal of Australia that Australian pandemic plans did not address key issues like case prioritisation, should hospital resources become over-stretched.
Dr Cairns wrote that if an outbreak with a similar impact as 1918's influenza pandemic occurred today, about one third of Australians would catch the illness and 200,000 would die.
Important aspects to be considered in the event of a pandemic included how to decide who to treat if there were more sick people than could be dealt with, and what legal protection would be available for doctors who were forced to make choices between patients.
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