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Sunday, 25 February

Atishoo, Aitishoo More Fall Down

The latest Public health England report published on January 18 shows that seasonal flu activity levels have continued to increase in the last week across the UK but various indicators show the rate of increase is slowing.

The statistics show over the last week there has been an 11% increase in the flu hospitalisation rate, a 42% increase in the GP consultation rate with flu like illness compared to the previous week and an 8% reduction in the flu intensive care admission rate. The main strains circulating continue to be flu A(H3N2), A(H1N1) and Flu B.

 Professor Paul Cosford, Medical Director, Public Health England said: "Our data continues to show that more people are visiting GPs with flu symptoms and we are seeing more people admitted to hospital with flu.

"In terms of hospital admission, this is the most significant flu season since the winter of 2010/11 and the preceding pandemic year of 2009 although it is not an epidemic.

"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."

 

Prevention

The flu virus can live for many hours on hard surfaces and therefore practising good hand hygiene can limit the spread of germs and transmission of flu. People are advised to catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue, bin it, and then wash their hands afterwards to kill the germs.

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.

"Seasonal flu usually circulates for several weeks each year," said Cosford. "The intensity of circulation depends upon the underlying population immunity, the circulating viruses and external factors such as the weather. It is an unpredictable virus and it is not possible to anticipate how flu levels will progress."

 

Catch It, Bin It, Kill It

The ‘Catch It, Bin It, Kill It’ campaign continues to run across digital, radio and press advertising platforms to inform the public about the steps they can take to protect themselves and reduce spread of the virus by practising good respiratory hand hygiene.

Picture: ‘Catch It, Bin It, Kill It’

Article written by Cathryn Ellis

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