Fewer people are being struck down by the flu than at any time in the past 130 years.
Experts say that the bug appears to have been ‘almost wiped out’ after the number of sufferers plummeted by 95 per cent.
The second week of January, normally the worst time for the seasonal virus, saw the number of flu-like symptoms reported to GPs at 1.1 per 100,000 people – compared with a five-year average of 27.
John McCauley, director of the World Health Organisation’s collaborating centre for reference and research on influenza and one of the world’s leading flu experts, said: ‘The last time we had evidence of such low rates was when we were still just counting influenza deaths, and that was in 1888, before the 1889- 90 flu pandemic.’
Professor Martin Marshall, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, told The Sunday Times that the health measures taken to combat Covid-19 were likely to be the main reason for the dramatic fall in cases.