Hospitals across Australia, particularly in the hardest hit state of New South Wales, have been busy this winter and spring, as the number of flu cases has increased by more than 150 percent year on year.
Health officials are blaming it on a mutant strain of influenza, which is thought to be responsible for more than 370 deaths, and sickened more than 160,000 others so far, even though it was included in this year’s flu vaccine.
They estimated that up to 85 percent of the people that received a flu shot this year is still contracted with the disease.
Researchers said one possible reason is that this strain continued to mutate after the vaccine was developed.
While the elderly and young children are usually at risk, other age groups, including relatively healthy people, are also in danger.
Health officials fear the number of cases is much higher because of a delay in reporting. — Reuters
Strong winds fanned bushfires in two Australian states on Monday (September 9), with flames out of control in some areas ravaging thousands of hectares of land, fire services officials said.
Bushfires have started earlier than normal in the states of Queensland and New South Wales, in the southern hemisphere spring, prompting fire service warnings for the summer, which runs from December through February.
As of Monday, five properties had been confirmed destroyed, with five damaged in New South Wales (NSW), while more than 200 homes were saved from the flames, the NSW Rural Fire Service said.
The Bureau of Meteorology warned of damaging winds, with peak gusts of about 90 kilometers an hour (56 mph), along the east coast of New South Wales for Monday.
The wind was expected to ease on Tuesday (September 10). (REUTERS)
Australian beekeeper Paul Wood removed a treasure trove of honeycombs in the form of a massive bee hive hidden in a woman’s home in suburban Brisbane, Australia.
Wood removed the 50kg (110.2 pounds) of honeycomb, including the 60,000-bee population of the ten-month old hive on Saturday (August 17) at the behest of the house’s owner and transplanted them into what he refers to as a “free range hive” in his backyard.
“Now what happens in Brisbane and probably lots of places around the world, is that when bees swarm, every spring time – that’s their reproduction – and if they can’t find a natural hollow tree as a new home, they quite often go into the cavity walls of houses, or ceilings of houses,” said Wood, owner of Brisbane Backyard Bees.
“They build that beautiful comb – as soon as they move into those cavities, and as you can see, in ten months, they’ve built an awful lot of comb. They’ve also sucked into that cavity 50 kilos of honey and they bred up the numbers to about 50 to 60 thousand bees in that time,” he added.
His video of his removal of the massive hive and its succulent honeycombs from the structure’s ceiling went viral on social media.
Wood and his colleague gently vacuumed the bees into a special box for transportation and removed the honeycombs, straining the honey into jars.
Video obtained by Reuters showed Wood carefully dismantling the hive, piece by piece.
While the bees remain in a temporary hive in Wood’s backyard, he says they will eventually be sent to beekeeping enthusiasts in Brisbane. (Reuters)
A man with “some ideologies in relation to terrorism” went on a stabbing attack in downtown Sydney on Tuesday (August 13), killing one woman and wounding another before he was restrained by members of the public, police said.
The incident brought mid-afternoon traffic in Australia’s biggest city to a standstill and sparked a police investigation into how the accused man, aged 21, went from living with his parents to what police said was a terrible crime.
A woman, 21, was found dead at an apartment building and a second woman, 41, was taken to hospital in a stable condition with a stab wound on her back.
Police did not say how the first woman died but said the man was responsible for both attacks, adding that the attack cannot be classed as a ‘terrorist incident’, a claim that could be re-assessed as the investigation pursues.
The man, who police did not name, was carrying a knife and a computer thumb drive containing information about deadly attacks in North America and New Zealand when he went on the frenzy as a “lone actor” about 2 pm Sydney time (0400 GMT), police said. (REUTERS)
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