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Worst flu outbreak for years . . . now wash your hands

19 January 2018

Statistics showed that 114 people per 100,000 were reported as having a flu-like illness last week.

New data released this week by Public Health England appear to show a jump in the number of GP consultations last week where patients showed "influenza-like symptoms".

It said that the ICU death rate was "within normal seasonal levels", but that the contribution of flu to a high overall mortality rate in the first two weeks of the year would be the subject of further investigation.

Professor Paul Cosford, Public Health England's medical director, said: "Our data continues to show that more people are visiting Global Positioning System with flu symptoms and we are seeing more people admitted to hospital with flu".

This strain, known as "Japanese flu", accounted for more than six in 10 hospitalised cases across the United Kingdom last week.

"The best form of protection against flu is to get the vaccine if you are eligible and to practice good respiratory and hand hygiene".

"The Scottish government is continuing to monitor the situation and work with health boards to ensure they are coping with the challenges of flu this winter".

Earlier on Thursday, the director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, which represents hospitals and ambulance trusts, said the impact of flu remained a "serious concern", despite hospital bed occupancy rates easing slightly in the last week.

But it's a B strain virus - one of the four strains circulating the United Kingdom - that is responsible for about half the hospital cases. Let us know. Message us on Facebook or call the newsdesk on 01793 501806.

Worst flu outbreak for years . . . now wash your hands