Flu Comes Early in England, with Hospital Cases Rising during the last week in England, suggesting that the season has started earlier than usual, according to officials.
After a space from the illness amid Covid pandemic limitations, people might not have much immunity to the flu.
According to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), children under five are experiencing the largest growth in hospital and ICU admissions for respiratory illness.
The elderly are also seeing an increase in hospital costs.
The size of the wave the UK might see is unknown because overall levels are still low.
However, medical professionals advise everyone eligible to obtain a flu shot to do so.
Officials have been warned that the UK must prepare for a large, early wave of flu since many southern hemisphere countries have recently seen their most severe influenza season.
In the UK, the influenza vaccination is being made available to more than 40 million individuals, including small children.
This fall and winter, the Covid booster shot is also being provided to adults over 50 and young adults with medical issues.
Flu Comes Early in England, with Hospital Cases Rising – The use of vaccines can assist people to avoid becoming seriously ill.
For those who are more susceptible to disease, both vaccinations are advised, including:
- anybody over 50
- expecting mothers
- individuals with specific underlying medical concerns
- care facility occupants
- professionals in front-line social services and health
According to the UKHSA, the H3N2 strain of seasonal influenza that is currently circulating matches well with the flu vaccine given this year.
The vaccine was effectively matched to that strain in Australia, where the flu season was fairly severe throughout the winter. It is the same one that gave the UK a very terrible flu season in 2017–18.
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The UKHSA’s Director of Public Health Programs, Dr. Mary Ramsay, stated: “Our most recent data indicates early indications of the influenza challenge we anticipate encountering this season.
“We’re advising parents, in particular, to avoid being unprepared because children under five are currently experiencing the largest growth in hospitalization and ICU admission rates. We urge them to accept the offer of immunization for eligible children as soon as possible because this will be a concern for many parents and caregivers of small children.”
Flu activity is tracked by experts using a variety of methods, including reports from doctors and the general public, testing conducted in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, and public reporting.
The hospital admission rate for confirmed flu cases in the week ending October 16 was over one per 100,000 persons, higher than in recent years for mid-October, indicating that the flu season had started earlier than usual. Overall, the rate is still quite low. Young children had the most cases, then adults over 85.
Flu Comes Early in England, with Hospital Cases Rising, In the meantime, the number of Covid cases in hospitals and the general public seems to be steady or declining.
Probably, the advantages of so many individuals in England using their Covid autumn booster are already being felt, according to Dr. Ramsay. Thankfully, the most recent data indicates a slight decline in Covid cases and hospitalization rates over the previous week.
“There is no room for complacency, though, as cases could reappear at any time. We need to be prepared by vaccinating everyone eligible.”