2019 has proven to be one of the worst flu seasons on record, with over 228,000 confirmed cases in Australia, according to the Immunisation Coalition.
Experts have expressed their concerns in regard to increased risk of heart attacks due to the enormous amount of influenza cases that have seen 486 deaths to date, states the Australian Influenza Surveillance Report.
“The risk to our hearts from influenza is very high. We know a person is six times more likely to have a heart attack the week following an influenza diagnosis,” Associate Professor in the Department of Cardiology at Backtown Hospital, Tim Tan, said.
“We also know Australians who have not had a flu vaccination are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack compared to those who have been vaccinated.”
Health professionals are encouraging more than ever for Australians to be vaccinated as research from the University of NSW has shown the value of the influenza vaccination.
“Flu vaccinations are a critical step in the management of cardiovascular disease, particularly for patients who have heart failure or who have had a heart attack,” General Manager of Heart Health at Heart Foundation, Bill Stravreski said.
“It’s important this is integrated into community health prevention programs and that eligible Australians with heart disease are well informed.”