The number of Queenslanders struck down with the flu has almost doubled when compared with the same time last year.
The state is in peak flu season and the "poor old Ekka", which starts next week, usually cops the blame for a spike in cases.
But Dr Michael Whitby, a professor of medicine at the University of Queensland and infectious disease expert, said the number of flu cases this season was no cause for concern.
According to the Australian Department of Health and Ageing, there were 4353 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza in Queensland last month compared with 2362 in July 2011.
“Increase in influenza diagnoses in recent years but access to tests for influenza has become easier so a lot more doctors are testing for influenza,” Dr Whitby said.
“There's no evidence to say it's more nasty [this year].
"A peak in cases occur around August and poor old Ekka gets the blame. Each year, flu cases dramatically drop off after August but sure as eggs, it will be back.”
Dr Whitby said groups at the highest risk of contracting the flu were people over 65, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders over 50, women more than three months' pregnant and people with long-term heart disease.
More people were being vaccinated against the flu, but Dr Whitby said low-risk individuals should keep in mind the changing nature of the disease.
“The vaccination rate has increased substantially over the past decade but in particular, in people over 65. The vaccination rate has increased in other people and there's no reason, that's a bad thing," he said.
"Unlike other vaccines, it changes its spots every year so the vaccine only goes for one season.”
For those who opt out of vaccination, Dr Whitby said there were a number of ways to try to stay flu-free.
“Coughs and sneezes spread diseases so avoiding people is the first thing but it's a hard thing to live in the community and do that,” he said.
“If you go to cough and sneeze cough into a handkerchief but make sure you wash your hands afterwards. Also wash your hands very well before eating.”