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Vic: Swine flu eases hold on Victoria

Sun Jul 19 02:21:19 EST 2009

MELBOURNE, July 19 AAP - Swine flu appears to be easing its grip on Victoria.

Deputy chief health officer Rosemary Lester says hospitals are reporting fewer patients with swine flu, and services monitoring the virus have recorded a decline in the number of infections.

"What we're seeing here in Victoria through our surveillance through GPs is the level of influenza-like illness in the community is on quite a sharp downturn," she told The Sunday Age newspaper.

"We had our outbreak earlier so we are on that downward slope, while other states are still on the upward slope."

A network of around 80 GPs across the state record how many patients have flu-like symptoms as a proportion of all patients.

A representative sample is then tested for influenza.

The most recent figures show the infection rate has dropped from about 23 per 1,000 patients at the end of June to 14 per 1,000 last week, the newspaper reports.

Swine flu has contributed to the deaths of 14 people in Victoria, while 31 people have died from the disease across Australia.