Credit: PerthNow

Queensland Health has reported 49 confirmed cases of swine flu in Australia this year and another 162 cases of other flu.

Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young warned this week a second wave of H1N1 swine flu will occur this year.

The number of deaths reported globally by the World Health Organization has now increased to nearly 17,000, almost double the number in November, she said.

Three people were already hospitalized for the virus associated with the deaths of 41 people in Queensland of 191, Australia-wide.

Dr Young encouraged people to take up the opportunity to be vaccinated.

In Queensland, around 826,000 people have already received the free swine flu jab and second-round clinics will be arranged from April 17.

Dr Young said, Vaccination if particularly important for babies aged six months and older, children and adolescent to help protect themselves and the broader community.

Seasonal flu vaccination is beginning to become available and that can be given instead of the human swine flu influenza vaccine. The 2010 winter seasonal influenza vaccine includes the human swine influenza strain as well as two other influenza strains (A H3N2 and B).

People could be immunized now against swine flu and still be able to receive the seasonal flu vaccination when it becomes widely available, said Dr Young.

Swine flu symptoms to watch for: cough, sore throat, runny nose or nasal congestion, fatigue, headache, muscular aches, joint pains, rigors or chills, diarrhea or vomiting (reported in 25 per cent of cases), severe illness like pneumonia and respiratory failure.