“…hospitals are in for a long winter…”

25 06 2009

Great piece here on ABC Radio’s PM program. Experts are starting to warn of a Winter here in Australia where the hospital system will be put under strain. Here’s an extract:

SIMON LAUDER: About 3,000 Australians have tested positive for swine flu. More than 100 have been hospitalised.

Professor of infectious diseases at the University of New South Wales, Raina MacIntyre, says the death-rate is still low.

RAINA MACINTYRE: Normally during seasonal flu we see about 2,500 to 3,000 deaths a year in Australia, so it’ll be in that range or more.

SIMON LAUDER: Professor Macintyre says hospitals are in for a long winter.

RAINA MACINTYRE: But we really need probably to see many more cases to get an accurate measure of what the mortality rate is. It’s still early days. It will definitely stress the hospital system.

SIMON LAUDER: What kind of things will we see at hospitals in terms of the extra burden?

RAINA MACINTYRE: We may see pressure on beds, increased waiting times in emergency, cancellation of elective procedures to free up beds, as well as staffing issues because we can expect that staff may be…there may be higher rates of staff absenteeism.




3 responses

25 06 2009
BudgetCouple Backpackers

Hello there,

We are in the midst of planning a vacation in Melbourne this coming August. Is it safe to go? Or shall we go to the other states of Australia? Any precautions should we take before we go? Please advise accordingly…

27 06 2009

Hi. I’m not sure Melbourne is any more unsafe than anywhere in the US – I assume the prevalence of Swine Flu is pretty high in the US. The only issue is that Melbourne will be in the middle of Winter in August. I’ll try to find some average temperature data etc. The peak of our Summer is February.

27 06 2009
Phillip Huggan


Pig physiology is halfway between bird and human receptors. If you can’t socially distance the farm from birds, quarantine from humans at least or better yet, slaughter. Playing with fire otherwise. Pigs experiencing H5N1 are barely symptomatic.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: