An Australian woman is in an induced coma unaware she has given birth after coming down with influenza A while pregnant.

Sarah Hawthorn, from Cobram in country Victoria, is fighting for her life in a Melbourne hospital after contracting the flu in the later stages of her pregnancy.

"As a result her gorgeous boy arrived earlier than planned and following his birth Sarah was, and remains, in a critical condition in an induced coma," her family said on a gofundme page.

By Wednesday morning, nearly $14,000 had been pledged.


Her family is trying to raise $20,000 for medical and travel expenses as the 33-year-old remains in a critical condition in the Alfred Hospital.

Her case follows the death of 8-year-old Melbourne girl Rosie Brealey from the flu after what her family thought was a bad cold, and the death of young Bacchus Marsh dad Ben Ihlow 30.

Eight elderly residents died at St John's Retirement Village at Wangaratta during a two-week period stretching into September.

Health Minister Jill Hennessy said Victoria had endured a "horror" flu season, with more than 13,000 cases recorded in the state over the past few months. More than 105,000 cases have been confirmed in Australia, the largest number ever diagnosed in one season.

Meanwhile, in South Australia at least four elderly people have died at a nursing home, with two others in the Mt Gambier area in lockdown.

Boandik Lodge chief executive Gillian McGinty told 7 News she had "never seen an outbreak this bad".