Doctors are warning that the deadly flu that swept the Northern Hemisphere in January may be on its way here.

Flu cases appeared to be low across all regions so far this year but especially in the Bay of Plenty, according to Crown research institute ESR's online influenza intelligence dashboard.

Luke Bradford, GP at Fifth Avenue Family Practice and co-chairman at the Western Bay of Plenty PHO, said "it's not flu crazy yet", although there could be an increase in cases next month.

"July tends to be the worst, if it's going to come."


He said it is possible people are getting immunised because of the Northern Hemisphere flu.

"It might be because people have got their jabs in ... it was a horrid flu, it killed a lot people."

He said he'd only seen people presenting with flu symptoms two or three times this week so far, and immunisations were possibly on the rise, his practice seeing a "couple of jabs a day".

"Uptake has been about as good as normal, possibly a little better than normal."

While flu numbers were higher in most regions outside of the Bay of Plenty, Bradford said it wouldn't take long to spread once it came.

"Normally it only takes a week to flow through the country. My gut feeling is we're not in it yet."

Toi Te Ora Medical Officer Dr Jim Miller said it is difficult to predict how New Zealand's influenza season would play out, but the impact of the illness in the Northern Hemisphere may provide a hint of what is to come.

"It was particularly bad. Influenza always has a significant impact on our communities each year, with many thousands of people in New Zealand visiting their doctor with influenza-like illnesses, and hundreds of people hospitalised.


Miller said immunisation was the best way to protect yourself and others.