Flu batters the NHS: 40% jump in hospital cases in a week
Flu batters the NHS: Hospital cases soar by 40% in a week – with this winter’s outbreak now THREE TIMES worse than last
The number of flu patients in England’s hospitals is now four times higher than the peak last winter.
NHS data released today shows 539 people with influenza were taking up beds on November 27.
For comparison, just 138 beds were occupied by flu-infected patients in 2021/22’s peak.
Restrictions brought in to control the spread of Covid squashed flu rates, leaving Britons with low levels of immunity against the virus.
NHS data shows 539 people with influenza were taking up beds on November 27. The figure is 3.9-times higher than the peak logged across the entire season last winter, when a maximum of 138 flu patients were in hospital. This is despite winter pressures just starting to kick-off and cases expected to rise further
This is despite winter pressures just starting to kick off and cases expected to rise further in the coming weeks.
Warnings of a double-whammy of Covid and flu have been rife over the past few years.
Both are seasonal viruses, which pick up pace as people spend more time socialising indoors, where it is easier for viruses to spread.
But fears of a so-called twindemic have so far been overblown.
GP surgeries are inviting children who were aged two or three on August 31 2022 for the nasal spray vaccination at their practices. Parents are encouraged to contact their surgery if they have not received an invite
Who should have the nasal spray flu vaccine?
- children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2022 (born between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2020)
- all primary school children (Reception to Year 6)
- some secondary school aged children
- children aged 2 to 17 years with long-term health conditions
NHS England has reported an average of 482 flu cases in hospital every day last week, up from 344 the previous week.
That is 15 times the number seen at the start of last December, when an average of 31 patients a day needed care for flu.
The NHS has warned it faces a ‘tripledemic’ of flu, Covid and its crisis in emergency care.
Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS England’s national medical director, said the figures show that flu is ‘unfortunately already with us’.
He said: ‘The concerns that we had about the threat of a ‘tripledemic’ are very real.
‘It has never been more important to get protected against the viruses ahead of winter so please book in for your jab if you are eligible if not already done so.’
It comes after health officials yesterday called on parents to get their children vaccinated against flu as hospitalisations among youngsters soar.
The number of under-fives in hospital in England due to influenza has jumped 70 per cent in just seven days — with 7.3 admissions per 100,000 in the most recent week.
Meanwhile, less than a third of two and three-year-olds have had a flu vaccine this season, according to data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).
Health chiefs warned the cohort is ‘particularly vulnerable’ to becoming ‘very poorly’ from the virus, while parents of those hospitalised due to flu have warn it is ‘every parent’s worst nightmare’.