Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
2:00 AM 24th October 2022

Flu Season Has Arrived Much Earlier

credit GB News
credit GB News
Flu season has arrived in Britain early this year, a leading expert has said.

Simon Clarke was speaking as figures showed cases have climbed quickly in the past seven days.,

Dr Clarke, a Professor of microbiology from the University of Reading, told GB News Breakfast:
“It's probably come early, because over the past few years, we haven't been circulating as much. And there is thought to be less immunity in the population.

“But also, some years, it just does come early, and the strain of flu that does the rounds will spread perhaps a bit more readily a bit more easily. We would normally expect to see numbers start to pick up in November, not October. But the peak of illness, the pressure on the NHS, usually comes in January or February. So, it remains to be seen when that's going to be.”

This winter marks the first winter without restrictions and where the population has been able to freely travel for the first time in two years, which has led to less circulation of the flu virus.

Dr Clarke added:
“There's been less flu circulating amongst less vulnerable people. We should remember that more vulnerable people have been given the flu vaccine over the past couple of years anyway so their immunity should be kept topped up if they went for the vaccine, or if they paid for it privately, like many of us do.

“But there's less circulation of the virus in the population. So that sort of protective immunity, which offers a bit of protection, just isn't there."

The latest data from the NHS indicates that hospitalisations and intensive care admissions are rising fastest in those under five.

However, Dr Clarke stresses that serious flu in young children is still rare despite the percentage increase.

He pointed:
“They're at a low level.

“So, you know, even a relatively small increase can look like a big increase when you look at it as a percentage.

“I hope that through the warning that the flu this year might be pretty bad, people think and go to their GP or wherever their local pharmacy is and get a vaccine that's offered to them.”