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Number of flu cases on the increase

30 December 2010

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The number of people suffering from flu rocketed by more than 40% in the last week of December, according to recent figures.

Cases of flu in England and Wales reached 124.4 per 100,000 of the population in the week ending 26 December, up from the 85.8 per 100,000 cases the previous week, according to the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

The Department of Health revealed the figures are in line with seasonal expectations and advised people to help prevent the spread of flu by taking preventative measures like washing their hands thoroughly.

A spokesman said: “The Chief Medical Officer has issued clear advice to get the seasonal flu jab if you are in a vulnerable group, particularly pregnant women and people with an underlying health condition, as well as those aged 65 and over.

“We are pleased to hear from RCGP that their estimates show vaccine coverage in over 65s has now caught up with last year and coverage is still going up in under-65 at-risk groups.”

The increase is not enough to push levels up to epidemic proportions, which experts define as 200 cases per 100,000.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Royal College of General Practitioners