'An unprecedented flu outbreak that is rocking Australia may be on its way to the UK, leading experts fear.
Figures show 93,000 have already caught influenza this year across the nation - seven times more than the entirety of 2018.
The death toll stands at 147 - up from the 23 at the same time last year, according to statistics released by the Australian government.
Leading experts have now warned it is likely the UK will have an equally bad winter, saying the outbreak is 'very scary'.
The flu season in the UK and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere tends to mirror what has happened in the Southern Hemisphere.
The same strains of the virus will circulate north in time for the British flu season, which typically begins in November and lasts until March.
Flu jabs are doled in Britain in September. But The Royal College of Emergency Medicine has called to start vaccinating earlier.
Dr Taj Hassan, the body's chair, told the Health Service Journal: 'We struggled last year [in A&Es] in incredibly benevolent circumstances.
'I am not sure that is going to happen this year. It is very important that we prepare. Perhaps we need to start vaccination early and set aside some money.'
Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive at NHS Providers, echoed the concerns raised by Dr Hassan.
She said: 'The spike in flu we are seeing in Australia could be a worrying signal of what is to come for health and care services this winter.
'Planning for vaccinations is based on what happens in the southern hemisphere.' Australia's flu season peaks in July and August.'
Read more: Flu outbreak ravaging Australia is on its way to the UK, experts fear as they call for Britain to launch a SUMMER vaccination programme