This week, The Alfred has experienced its busiest winter period on record in the Emergency Department, with 610 people needing urgent care in just three days.
The majority of patients who presented are experiencing flu and gastro symptoms, and respiratory issues – there has been a 25 per cent increase in patients admitted to the wards compared to an average week.
Flu cases have spiked 150 per cent compared to last year.
Susan was one of the very sick patients who ended up in intensive care for five days after she was struck down with a particularly nasty strain of the flu. She’s now feeling much better and hoping to go home today.
Susan spent most of winter battling colds and flus before she came down with human metapneumovirus (hMPV) – which is similar to bird flu. Susan has a genetic lung condition and suppressed immune system following a double lung transplant in 2010.
“My condition leaves me unable to create antibodies, which means I can’t fight infections and colds,” Susan said.
“I’d been feeling really crook and I was put on antivirals for the hMPV. But one day I woke at 4am and couldn’t breathe or move. My lung function had totally diminished.”
Susan was rushed to emergency and after her stint in ICU, she spent three days on the ward.
“Us transplant recipients really rely on the doctors and a whole teams of people who come together and work to keep us alive. Without them we wouldn’t be here.
“My lungs have cleared up nicely. I’m really happy and looking forward to going home.”
While the virus remains prevalent in the community, we urge anyone who is unwell to look after themselves - rest, keep hydrated and see your GP before symptoms worsen.
Also, please stay home while you’re unwell and wash your hands regularly to avoid passing on the virus to others.