Vaccines

Child flu cases show alarming rise amid incorrect vaccination advice from GPs

Baby Clementine was burning with fever, coughing and sleeping almost around the clock.

Her parents, Emily Ritchie and Lachlan Barnes, had no idea their 15-month-old had fallen ill with the flu.

Clementine Ritchie-Barnes with her parents, Emily Ritchie and Lachlan Barnes at the Royal Children's Hospital.
SHARE Share on Facebook SHARE Share on Twitter TWEET Link Clementine Ritchie-Barnes with her parents, Emily Ritchie and Lachlan Barnes at the Royal Children’s Hospital. Photo: Joe Armao

Like more than two-thirds of Australian parents, they hadn’t immunised their daughter against the potentially deadly virus.

The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne has seen an alarming increase of almost 50 per cent in flu cases so far this season compared with last year.

So far, 101 children have been diagnosed by the hospital with the illness, many of them admitted to intensive care, compared with 69 before the end of July in 2016.

In what flu experts are finding is a disturbingly common problem, a doctor had incorrectly told Clementine’s parents that children don’t need the flu shot.

This is despite a federal recommendation that all children over six months should have one. And despite the virus killing…