latest health care news

12.01.18

Hospitalisation rises by 50% as flu rate shoots up

There was a 50% increase in the number of people admitted to hospital with the flu this week compared to the week before.

The surge in hospitalisation has forced Public Health England (PHE) to launch further campaigns with the DH, urging people to safeguard themselves against diseases.

In addition, Dr Paul Cosford, medical director of PHE, Sir Bruce Keogh, outgoing medical director of NHS England and chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies have all written to frontline workers to encourage the use of flu vaccines for those who have not already taken them up.

Cosford said: “Our data shows that more people are visiting GPs with flu symptoms and we are seeing more people admitted to hospital with flu.

“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. The A(H3N2) strain particularly affects older, more vulnerable age groups.

“We encourage anyone who is eligible to take up their offer of the flu vaccine – it is not too late. 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.”

While seasonal flu usually circulates annually, this year’s breakout has added to the misery of an NHS currently under extreme winter pressures.

Hospitals have already been forced to cancel all non-emergency operations, with some experiencing bed occupancy rates as high as 95% and others forced to bring in extra private staff to continue functioning appropriately.

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