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Rosie Andersen: Victorian schools reminded of influenza risks as 8yo flu victim remembered

ABC News logo ABC News 19/09/2017

Rosie Andersen died in the Angliss Hospital at Upper Ferntree Gully in Melbourne's east on Friday. © GoFundMe Rosie Andersen died in the Angliss Hospital at Upper Ferntree Gully in Melbourne's east on Friday. Victorian schools have been reminded of the risks of flu as a Melbourne family mourns the death of an eight-year-old girl who died last week after contracting the virus.

Rosie Andersen died in the Angliss Hospital at Upper Ferntree Gully in Melbourne's outer east on Friday.

Victoria is experiencing one of its worst flu seasons in recent times, according to authorities.

There have been 13,000 flu cases in the state so far this year, nearly double the number that had been confirmed this time last year.

The Department of Education has encouraged schools to advise students with suspected cases of the flu to contact health services and stay at home until symptoms have passed.

"The death of any child is tragic and our thoughts are with the family of this student," a department spokeswoman said.

"We have recently sent schools a reminder of our advice on dealing with cases of the flu. "We have been in contact with the school to support them in meeting these requirements and to offer support for anyone who may be affected by the death of this student."

Fundraising page set up to help flu victim's family

In an online fundraising page set up to help the girl's family, friends offered their condolences.

"As the family struggle to come to terms with this loss, we are hoping to raise some donations to show how much we care about [Rosie's father] Christian and his family," the GoFundMe page said.

"We know this would break the biggest and baddest of men." On Monday, Victorian health experts discussed ways to respond to what has been described as a horror flu season.

Three private hospitals, including two in Geelong and one in Melbourne, have said they will accept public emergency patients coming by ambulance to help the system cope.

"We're not quite sure if the flu season has peaked," Health Minister Jill Hennessy said yesterday.

"It is right up the eastern seaboard of Australia.

"Queensland has tripled its flu numbers, New South Wales has doubled their flu numbers, as has Victoria."

Earlier this month, eight people died from a flu outbreak at an aged care facility at St John's Retirement Village in Wangaratta in Victoria's north-east.

The residents who died were aged between 70 and 94, and had other conditions that made them particularly susceptible.

About 800 people in Victoria die each year from influenza, the State Government said.

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