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Flu cases: Levels 'very high in hospitals'

From BBC - January 11, 2018

Hospitals in England are now seeing very high rates of patients with flu, according to Public Health England figures.

A sharp rise in cases seen by GPs in the past week - up 78% on the week before - suggests it could be the worst flu season for seven years.

But PHE said the current levels of flu were "not unprecedented".

Deaths from flu remained static with 27 in the past seven days.

Prof Paul Cosford, medical director from Public Health England, said: "The levels of flu being seen are high and of course that is contributing to the pressures in the NHS, but they are not unprecedented levels."

He also suggested the coverage of the so-called Aussie flu outbreak was a little misleading, saying that while it was circulating at "significant" levels there were two other strains that were also causing problems.

These strains are an unknown type of influenza A and influenza B - which is normally a milder strain - but appears to be affecting older people in care homes.

The H3N2 strain - an influenza A virus - has been dubbed 'Aussie flu' because it is the same strain that recently caused big problems for Australia during their winter.

This year's flu vaccine is designed to protect against this strain and some other ones.

What is flu?

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