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Post  cottontop on Sat Sep 13, 2008 4:43 pm

Exotic Flu Strains
September 14, 2008 02:35am

PILGRIMS carrying exotic strains of flu spread more than religion and goodwill when they descended on Sydney for World Youth Day.

Unusual strains of flu are being blamed on the influx of 250,000 youths from more than 100 different countries in July.

Nurses report seeing high rates of virulent infections among hospital patients with “new and unusual strains of flu from exotic places”.

NSW Health said there were four main strains of flu circulating in the State, with higher than usual levels of type B influenza.

Dr Gordian Fulde, head of the emergency department at St Vincent’s Hospital, has just completed research into the health impact of World Youth Day.

“It’s certain that some of (the pilgrims) would have been sick,” he said. “That’s a public health problem - the world really is now a small place. If you are sick but have got an airline ticket to somewhere, you will go and take that cold or virus with you.”

Dr Fulde said the flu virus appeared to be more virulent this year.


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