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The flu and you: the dramatic hidden picture

NZ Herald

More than 840,000 Kiwis caught the flu last year, but three quarters of them would never have known they had contracted the highly contagious virus.

Dramatic findings from a multimillion dollar study, revealed today, have pointed to a “hidden iceberg” of flu carriers in New Zealand who spread the virus among their family, co-workers and classmates without ever realising it.

The findings show that one-in-five people in New Zealand – and one-in-three Kiwis under 19 – were infected with influenza last year.

Yet more than 70 per cent of them didn’t have symptoms, and of those who felt sick, 80 per cent didn’t bother visiting a GP.

The data came from the Southern Hemisphere Influenza and Vaccine Effectiveness Research and Surveillance (SHIVERS) study, which analysed 2500 adults and children randomly selected from general practices in Auckland.

Read the full story on the NZ Herald.

 

ESR virologist Dr Sue Huang was surprised at the proportion of people who catch the flu each year without realising it. Photo / Mark MItchell
ESR virologist Dr Sue Huang was surprised at the proportion of people who catch the flu each year without realising it. Photo / Mark MItchell

 

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