A heartbroken husband has begged people to get the flu shot after his fit and healthy wife became the 84th Queenslander to die from influenza this year.
Toowoomba mother of three Jacinta Foulds, 35, died in hospital early on Wednesday morning after catching the flu and developing a secondary infection.
Her devastated husband Dan Foulds says he still can't fathom that he's lost his wife, and that their three children, aged 7, 10, and 11, will grow up without the love and care of their mum.
He's begged people not to "roll the dice" this flu season and to get the flu shot.
Health authorities have echoed his call, saying it's not too late, and that more than 37,000 Queenslanders have fallen ill so far this flu season.
Mrs Foulds was sick for about a week before she went to the doctor. She did what she was told and went home and stayed in bed.
On Friday she was diagnosed with influenza A, but by Tuesday she was so sick she called her husband at work, who rushed home and called an ambulance.
When she got to hospital, doctors gave her only a 50:50 chance of survival, and said the best thing was to put her into an induced coma.
The couple shared some last words, expressing love for each other. Mrs Foulds never woke up and died very early on Wednesday morning.
"If you're sick go to the doctor; if it's longer than two days .... go to the doctor," Mr Foulds told the ABC.
"The flu shot, I always thought it was a load of crap. I know me and my three kids will be getting the flu shot forever.
"It's not a joke, this stuff kills."
Health officials say it's rare, but severe complications can occur with the flu in people aged under 50.
Queensland Health minister Steven Miles, who was hospitalised with the flu in 2017, joined the call for people to get their flu shot.
"A record number of Queenslanders have been vaccinated for the flu this year but there is no doubt if more people were vaccinated we could reduce the spread of the flu.
"We have seen a number of tragic deaths that remind us that the flu can affect anyone."
Other preventive measures included good hand hygiene, cough etiquette and staying away from work or school if you are unwell.
People most at risk from the flu include infants, the elderly, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, those with chronic conditions and pregnant women.
Australian Associated Press