Number of flu cases in general practice rises by more than 1,700 in one week

A woman blowing her nose

The number of flu cases has risen by 1,748 in one week according to data collected by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

The data, published on 19 December 2019 in the Research and Surveillance Centre Communicable and Respiratory Disease Report for England, show that 9,646 people presented to their GP surgery with influenza-like-illness between 9 and 15 December 2019.

This was an increase of 1,748 on the previous week, with the biggest increases in the London and South of England regions.

The weekly report from the RCGP Research and Surveillance Centre included data from a nationally representative sample of 226 practices from across England, with a combined patient population of more than 2 million.

Commenting on the latest flu data, Martin Marshall, chair of the RCGPs, said it was “not too late” for patients to be vaccinated against influenza.

“This is the best protection against influenza we have, and we encourage anyone in an at-risk group — for example, [older people], patients with long-term conditions and pregnant women — to visit their GP or local pharmacist to get vaccinated, and we urge parents of young children to arrange for their children to get their nasal vaccination,” he said.

The rise in flu cases comes after the annual government letter allowing pharmacists to dispense antiviral medicines at the expense of the NHS, in response to an increase in the number of influenza cases, was published at its earliest point in the past five years.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, Number of flu cases in general practice rises by more than 1,700 in one week;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2019.20207508

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