Australia

Flu deaths in South Australia rise to 82

The rate of SA flu-related deaths is rising but authorities remain happy with the vaccine in use. (AAP)

SA Health says 82 people have now died from the flu this year.

Flu-related deaths in South Australia have climbed to 82 as the total number of cases closes in on 20,000.

Acting Chief Medical Officer Nicola Spurrier said the majority of deaths had been people aged over 65.

At the same time last year, there had only been about 1500 confirmed flu cases.

But Dr Spurrier said the strain of flu circulating was no more virulent or deadly, with the large increase in 2019 partly attributed to a significantly early start to the season.

She said authorities were happy with the vaccine in use this year, with a big increase in the number of people in SA choosing to be immunised.

"The vaccine that was put together was not too bad a match for the strains that are circulating," she told reporters on Monday.

"That being said we would always say to people that a flu vaccine is not 100 per cent effective."

Dr Spurrier said SA had recently experienced a reduction in the rate of notifications but it was too early to tell if the flu season would wind down early.

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