Two Aucklanders die from flu, fears Australian outbreak could spread

Two Aucklanders have died from influenza a month into flu season.

A 12-year-old and a 62-year-old died from the illness, Counties Manukau District Health Board confirmed to Newshub on Tuesday.

The deaths come after 122 people died from the flu in Australia.

The 2019 flu season has seen more than 56,500 cases across Australia so far. In April, it was six times the record high for the month.

There are fears the outbreak could spread here.

"The whole eastern seaboard, Western Australia, New Zealand, they're all being affected," Professor Robert Booy, Immunisation Coalition chair, told Newshub last month.

"So this isn't a country-wide, it's actually a South Pacific thing."

Immunisation Advisory Centre director Dr Nikki Turner said the good news is New Zealand is seeing the same kinds of flu as in Australia.

"Currently the flu strains are well matched by the vaccine we're using at the moment."

She and other health professionals urge all Kiwis to get the flu vaccination to maximise their chances of avoiding the potentially deadly virus.

The flu vaccine is free for people considered at greater risk of complications, including pregnant women and people over 65 years old.