Victoria is still in the grips of a shocking influenza season but the savage swathe it has been cutting through the state seems to be easing.
Cases of influenza in the Grampians are 11 times higher than last year, but the number of laboratory-confirmed cases each week for the past three weeks have dropped dramatically from the levels previously seen.
Across the state there were fewer than half the number of laboratory confirmed influenza cases compared to the week prior. And in the Grampians there were 22 confirmed cases compared to 55 just two weeks ago.
There have been 79 deaths across Victoria from influenza so far this year, with 44,217 laboratory confirmed cases of the illness.
In the Grampians health region there have been 1174 cases for the year to date compared to 100 in 2018.
Numbers began easing early August after the flu season struck early, with previously released figures from Ballarat Health Services showing the number of emergency department presentations for patients with flu-like conditions spiked at more than 140 cases a week in mid-May, remaining above 90 cases per week with a second spike of more than 120 cases in early July.
The past few weeks have recorded about 60 to 80 patients with flu-like conditions seeking hospital treatment.
At BHS the number of presentations for flu-like illnesses is up 51 per cent compared to the same time last year.
"The community is encouraged to get vaccinated for the flu, and if you have flu like symptoms, consult your GP. People with flu should stay hydrated and rest, and try to avoid contact with vulnerable groups. They should stay home or keep their children at home if they have flu, and to be diligent with hand hygiene," a spokesperson said.
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The drop in flu infections is good news for hospital emergency departments which have been under pressure causing increased wait times for patients and ambulance cases.
The past fortnight has seen the biggest drop in laboratory-confirmed flu cases across the state since the illness began to make its presence felt in April.
Figures from the Department of Health and Human Services' FluCAN tracking showed 4.7 per cent of adults and 6.7 per cent of children admitted to hospital with confirmed influenza ended up being admitted to the intensive care unit.
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