HEALTH

Victoria's Horror Flu Season Kills 121 Aged Care Patients

26 aged care residents have died in just the last two weeks.

02/10/2017 11:42 AM AEDT | Updated 02/10/2017 11:42 AM AEDT

More than 120 people in Victoria's aged care system have died in a horror flu season that has prompted the government to pour an extra $115 million into the health system.

There have been 121 flu-related deaths in aged care, a government spokeswoman said, up from 95 two weeks ago.

The illness has also claimed an eight-year-old girl and a Bacchus Marsh father, while 33-year-old new mum Sarah Hawthorn is in a coma after being struck down while heavily pregnant.

"We have had over 14,000 notifications of influenza this year in Victoria - that is more than double what we had last year," Health Minister Jill Hennessy told reporters on Monday.

"We are being advised that the flu season may have peaked, but we'd like to see some greater evidence of that because, certainly, the demand on our health system continues."

All public hospitals and 15 Bush Nursing Centres will share the $115 million to ensure flu treatment does not disrupt other patient care.

"This has been a perfect storm; there've been three separate viruses circulating," Royal Melbourne Hospital respiratory medicine director Lou Irving said.

"There's a cohort of unvaccinated people, including young children, that have been spreading the illness."

He urged people to get vaccinated.

"There's a peak and it's beginning to drop, fingers crossed... although there is 'background flu' now even out of season. There's a little bit of flu circulating all the time."

A universal vaccination program for children should be considered by Australia to ease the burden on the system and households, Prof Irving added.

Ms Hennessy has written to the Commonwealth seeking funding for such a vaccination program.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt is in talks with the nation's chief health officer about the effectiveness of a universal system.

"I'm not without hope that the Commonwealth is going to look at this and we're obviously going to continue to advocate... about greater universality, particularly for kids under five," Ms Hennessy said.

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