IN the span of six weeks, the number of reported cases of influenza in Bathurst has grown by almost 700 per cent.
In late May, there were just 41 confirmed cases in Bathurst, but that number has since blown out to 320, as of July 9.
By comparison, the number of confirmed cases during the same period in 2018 was below 20.
Influenza has hit the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) hard this year, with there now being 1129.
Six weeks ago, the number of cases across the health district was 229.
"The WNSWLHD is seeing a higher than usual Influenza activity across the district, which is in line with activity across Australia," a WNSWLHD spokesperson said.
"Emergency Departments are continuing to report higher than usual numbers of presentations for respiratory illnesses and influenza-like illness."
While the number of cases is significantly higher than usual, there have thankfully been no deaths in the health district.
Nationally, however, there have been more than 131,000 flu cases reported and almost 300 deaths.
The WNSWLHD has encouraged people who haven't already to get their flu shot, which reduces their risk of catching the flu and makes symptoms less severe if they do.
"Everyone is being encouraged to get the flu vaccination each year. It's never too late while influenza is circulating," the spokesperson said.
"There are a number of people that can receive the influenza vaccination free of charge. These groups of people are generally those that have poorer outcomes if they acquire the flu."
People eligible for free vaccines include children aged six months to five years, Aboriginal people, pregnant women, people with serious underlying health conditions, and people aged 65 years and older.
This year to date, NSW Health has distributed over 2.4 million doses of government-funded flu vaccine to GPs, hospitals, Aboriginal medical services and children's vaccination clinics.
Anyone showing symptoms of the flu should take simple measures to reduce the risk of spreading it.
"If you have a fever, cough or runny nose please postpone visiting elderly relatives until you recover," the WNSWLHD spokesperson said.
"If you have symptoms of flu it's important to prevent the spread by coughing and sneezing into your elbow, washing your hands regularly, and staying home if you're unwell."