UK flu levels continue to increase

Public health England (PHE) statistics have shown that seasonal flu levels have continued to increase in the last week across the UK.

The health body has reported that there has been a 78 per cent increase in the GP consultation rate with flu like illness, a 50 per cent increase in the flu hospitalisation rate, and a 65 per cent increase in the flu intensive care admission rate.

Seasonal flu, which puts extra pressure on the NHS every year, can live for many hours on hard surfaces, so health bosses and hospitals across the country are encouraging people to practise good hand hygiene to limit the spread of germs and transmission of flu.

Paul Cosford, medical director at PHE, said: “Our data shows that more people are visiting GPs with flu symptoms and we are seeing more people admitted to hospital with flu. We are currently seeing a mix of flu types, including the A(H3N2) strain that circulated last winter in the UK and then in Australia. The A(H3N2) strain particularly affects older, more vulnerable age groups.

“We encourage anyone who is eligible to take up their offer of the flu vaccine – it is not too late. People suffering with flu-like symptoms should catch coughs or sneezes in tissues and bin them immediately, wash their hands regularly with soap and warm water and frequently clean regularly used surfaces to stop the spread of flu. Avoid having unnecessary contact with other people if you or they have symptoms of flu.”

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