There were just 13 beds occupied by flu patients in the week up to December 5 last year, according to the NHS’ weekly winter situation report. Caution around social mixing fuelled by the Covid pandemic kept the spread of the disease low last year, while a flu wave never materialised in winter 2020 as a result of the national lockdown.
Professor Kevin Fenton, London’s Public Health Director, said: “Flu cases are now rising rapidly, especially in young people. Be aware of the signs and symptoms and please get vaccinated, if eligible.”
Dr Yvonne Young, deputy director for health protection at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) in London, said that flu rates are currently highest in 5-14 year olds and that this would “be a concern” for many parents.
“We are extremely fortunate to have vaccines, which remain our best protection against severe disease and hospitalisation this winter… If you’re eligible, please book your jab without delay. It will help protect yourself, your family and help reduce the burden on our health service.”