Influenza beginning to circulate

Influenza is starting to circulate at moderate levels in the community in England, according to Public Health England (PHE)’s monitoring report published on 10 January.

PHE’s statistics showed that in one week GP consultations for flu-like illness and hospital and intensive care admission rates have all increased from 8.4 to 14.8 per 100,000, from 1.96 to 4.32, and from 0.32 to 0.40 per 100,000 respectively.

PHE head of flu Richard Pebody commented:“In the last week, the flu indicators we track have reached low levels, meaning flu is now circulating in the community in England. We are currently seeing mainly A(H1N1)pdm09 circulating which is well matched to the strains in this year’s flu vaccines.”

Uptake of the flu vaccine in preschool age children is at its highest ever level, and rates of vaccination among eligible adults are similar to recent seasons, PHE said.

PHE is urging people in at-risk groups to get vaccinated and everyone to practice good respiratory and hand hygiene, as these are the best forms of protection against flu.

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