The UK’s flu season often begins in September and ends in March however Dr John McCauley, a outstanding flu scientist, says spiralling instances in China, India and Croatia
Britain could possibly be hit with an early flu outbreak as a result of instances are already hovering overseas, a prime professional has warned.
Dr John McCauley says spiralling instances in China, India and Croatia might point out an earlier wave of infections within the UK this yr.
It comes amid a warning that immunity in opposition to bugs is so low after Covid lockdowns that the flu might kill 60,000 individuals.
The UK’s flu season often begins in September and ends in March however the NHS often begins to really feel the strain in January.
However Dr McCauley – a outstanding flu scientist primarily based at London’s Francis Crick Institute – says Brits ought to put together for an earlier surge in instances as a result of an increase in infections abroad.
He instructed MailOnline that Croatia, China and India had all skilled an increase in infections.
“It’s over the next few weeks that we will be able to tell if what we are seeing now is sustained. If it is, we might expect an early flu season,” he added.
“There is flu being picked up in some places, but whether it is spreading in some of these (eg Norway and the Netherlands) is not known for certain.”
His warning comes as Dr Jenny Harries, chief government of the UK Health Security Agency, fears Brits will face a lethal double act of Covid and flu this winter as a result of waning immunity.
Dr Harries stated the general public “should be worried about the flu each winter”.
Speaking to Trevor Phillips on Sky she warned that those that catch each sicknesses on the similar time are twice as prone to die than sufferers with Covid alone.
She stated: “On average over the past five years, around 11,000 people have died [per year] with flu-related conditions.
“The important thing about this winter is that we’re likely to see flu, for the first time in any real numbers, co-circulating with Covid.
“The dangers of each collectively nonetheless stay.
“The early evidence suggests you’re twice as likely to die from the two together than just Covid alone.”
Last week Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy chief medical officer, warned that immunity in opposition to bugs is so low after lockdowns that the flu might kill 60,000 individuals.
He stated: “Not many people got flu last year because of Covid restrictions, so there isn’t as much natural immunity as usual.
“We will see flu circulate this winter. It might be higher than usual and that makes it a significant public health concern. Covid-19 will still be circulating and with more people mixing indoors, sadly some increases are possible.
“For the first time we will have Covid-19 and flu co-circulating.”
Urging people to get the Covid jab, he added: “We need to take this seriously and defend ourselves and the NHS by getting the annual flu jab and the Covid-19 booster when called. Both these viruses are serious.
“They can both spread easily, cause hospitalisation and they can both be fatal.
“It is really important that people get their vaccines as soon as they can.”