IPSWICH is in the grip of flu season with a spike in patients suffering influenza presenting at West Moreton Health region facilities.
Forty-two cases of influenza were recorded in the week ending July 1 across the district, a significant increase on the average of one case a week between January and May.
West Moreton Hospital and Health Service executive Sharon Kelly said the presentations had steadily increased since the early start to the flu season.
"The influenza season has started relatively early this year."
Ms Kelly said a sustained increase in cases over the coming weeks was to be expected and would be consistent with the evolving influenza season which occurred every year.
Australian Medical Association Queensland president Alex Markwell said flu season had been exceptionally bad across the state.
Queensland Health figures recorded 351 influenza cases in Queensland, up significantly on the pre-flu season average of 32 cases per week from January to early May.
"Recent surveillance data seems to support the anecdotal evidence that Queensland is experiencing a particularly bad flu season, with a significant increase in the number of confirmed cases of influenza," he said.
"Patients have been presenting in higher than usual numbers with moderate to severe symptoms, and some have been extremely unwell."
Dr Markwell said it was important that anyone who felt like they were sicker than they normally would be with a common cough or cold saw their GP.
"AMA Queensland strongly advises that anyone who is not well should stay at home to minimise the spread of infection," he said.
"Hand hygiene is also extremely important. Regular hand washing, disposal of tissues and face-covering when coughing or sneezing can also help to limit the transmission."
Ms Kelly said influenza was not the same as a common cold, and could be a serious disease.
"For some people, such as the elderly, homeless, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 15 years, pregnant women and those with existing conditions, the flu can cause serious complications."