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expert reaction to latest flu outbreak developments

Scientists commented on the latest development in the 2017/18 winter flu outbreak, including the latest statistics on hospital admissions and GP appointments.

 

Prof Jonathan Ball, Professor of Molecular Virology, University of Nottingham, said:

“It looks like flu activity out in the community is decreasing, at least that’s what the sentinel GP data in the same PHE report would indicate, and we would expect there to be a lag in the hospital admission as these will be associated with more severe disease which will take a little time to develop.

“The fact that more people are seeking GP consultations for respiratory infections – which can be caused by a whole range of different viruses – is not surprising given the media hype surrounding this flu season.

“Yes, this is a bad year and some of the components of the trivalent vaccine might not have given the protection that we would have hoped for, but this is nothing more than a bad flu season, not helped by an aging population and an under-funded and creaking NHS.”

 

*Latest statistics from PHE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-flu-levels-continue-to-increase-according-to-phe-statistics

 

 

Declared interests

Prof Jonathan Ball: No conflicts of interest.

 

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