A large wave of influenza cases is expected to arrive early this year, the UK Health Security Agency has warned.
The warning comes after many countries in the Southern Hemisphere experienced the worst flu seasons in many years, suggesting that the UK will have a similar surge in cases.
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‘I am more worried about flu than I have been for the last few years because of the reduction of immunity that is around. There are "strong indications" that the UK could face the threat of widely circulating flu along with new Covid variants that might evade the immune response,’ said UK Health Security Agency chief medical adviser Dr Susan Hopkins.
‘This combination poses a serious risk to our health, particularly those in high-risk groups. So, if you are offered a jab, please come forward to protect yourself.’
The UK Health Security Agency reports that this year's flu jab is a good match for the type of seasonal influenza that is circulating, a strain called H3N2.
‘This winter could be the first time we see the effects of the so called 'twindemic' with both Covid and flu in full circulation, so it is vital that those most susceptible to serious illness from these viruses come forward for vaccines in order to protect themselves and those around them,’ said NHS director for vaccinations and screening Steve Russell.