Latest statistics from the Public Health England (PHE) indicate a continuing trend of increase in levels of seasonal influenza infections across the United Kingdom, primarily with the flu A(H3N2), A(H1N1) and Flu B strains.
Over the past week, there has been a 78% rise in rates of individuals presenting to GPs with flu-like illness, a 50% rise in flu hospitalisation rates and a 65% rise in flu intensive care admission rates.
The circulation of seasonal flu occurs for several weeks every year, with the intensity varying as per population immunity, virus strains, weather, etc. The unpredictability of influenza virus makes it difficult to anticipate how flu levels will progress.
In the wake of the rising infection levels, the PHE launched the ‘Catch It, Bin It, Kill It’ campaign which aims to educate the public regarding protecting themselves from flu infections and reducing spread of the virus through good respiratory hand hygiene. The heads of PHE and the National Health Service England, along with the Chief Medical Officer, have urged all frontline healthcare workers to get vaccinated against influenza if they have not already.