A complete of 141 beds have been occupied by flu sufferers in London’s hospitals within the week as much as November 20, because the capital’s public well being chief warned that instances of the virus have been “rising quickly”.
There have been simply 13 beds occupied by flu sufferers within the week as much as December 5 final 12 months, in keeping with the NHS’ weekly winter state of affairs report. Warning round social mixing fuelled by the Covid pandemic saved the unfold of the illness low final 12 months, whereas a flu wave by no means materialised in winter 2020 because of the nationwide lockdown.
Professor Kevin Fenton, London’s Public Well being Director, mentioned: “Flu instances at the moment are rising quickly, particularly in younger folks. Pay attention to the indicators and signs and please get vaccinated, if eligible.”
Dr Yvonne Younger, deputy director for well being safety on the UK Well being Safety Company (UKHSA) in London, mentioned that flu charges are at present highest in 5-14 12 months olds and that this could “be a priority” for a lot of dad and mom.
“We’re extraordinarily lucky to have vaccines, which stay our greatest safety towards extreme illness and hospitalisation this winter… In case you’re eligible, please ebook your jab directly. It should assist shield your self, your loved ones and assist cut back the burden on our well being service.”
About 25,000 folks die of flu yearly in England. Low ranges of immunity within the inhabitants have sparked fears that the UK might undergo a very unhealthy flu season primarily based on the state of affairs in Australia, the place it strikes first.
Jacqueline Totterdell, the CEO of Group Chief Govt of St George’s, Epsom and St Helier College Hospitals, mentioned she was “very shut” to being admitted to intensive care after falling ailing with flu in December 2019. She spent three weeks in St Barts hospital battling the virus after struggling respiration difficulties.
“Please don’t fall into the entice of pondering flu is rather like a heavy chilly – I’m proof that it’s far more critical, notably for folks in high-risk teams,” she mentioned.
“Folks die of flu yearly, so please go and get your jab. It does not damage and it protects you and others round you.”