Christchurch mother, 41, dies after contracting influenza

“I can’t find the words for it. Obviously it’s not fair, out of anything that could have happened it starts off with the flu.”

In Canterbury, the flu rate is already double the general national average of 100 per 100,000 people.

The Canterbury District Health Board has recorded 130 discharges in July of people who listed flu as part of their diagnosis list.

Only one person had died with flu symptoms in July. A spokesman said this death may not have been caused solely by the flu.

Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Alistair Humphrey said the incline showed no signs of stopping.

The prevalent strain in the South Island, Influenza B, had affected the elderly and, interestingly, some younger people this season.

“It’s important to understand that flu is a serious illness. It does kill people. I have people coming to me saying ‘Doc, I have a bit of flu’. There’s no such thing as a ‘bit of flu’, you either have it or you don’t. If you think it’s relatively minor it’s probably something else.”

More people are killed by influenza than road accidents every year.