Aussie Flu WARNING: Killer virus to spread like PLAGUE as freezing weather incubates germs

Saturday, January 13, 2018
By Paul Martin

A BRUTAL blast of bitter cold weather will grip Britain next week sparking fears the nationwide flu crisis is about to get worse and spread like the plague.

Sat, Jan 13, 2018

Cases of the disease which include the super-virulent ‘Aussie flu’ have almost doubled since the start of the year, according to official figures.

Public Health England (PHE) records reveal 93 people have died since autumn with 27 deaths reported during the first week of January.

There were 758 flu admissions to hospital last week compared to 421 in the final week of December.

While the link between flu and cold weather is still uncertain, studies reveal cases rise when temperatures drop.

It has sparked warnings to take extra care as the nation hunkers down for what could be a lengthy spell of winter weather.

Elderly and vulnerable people have been urged to avoid crowded places and ensure they are vaccinated against the flu.

Professor Paul Cosford, Public Health England’s (PHE) medical director, said: “Our data shows that more people are visiting GPs with flu symptoms and we are seeing more people admitted to hospital with flu.

“We are currently seeing a mix of flu types, including the A(H3N2) strain that circulated last winter in the UK and then in Australia.

“We encourage anyone who is eligible to take up their offer of the flu vaccine – it is not too late.”

Flu continues to spread like wildfire even after a cold snap, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Virology.

Author Nicklas Sundell, a researcher at Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden, said: “We believe that [a] sudden drop in temperature contributes to ‘kickstart’ the epidemic.

“Once the epidemic has started, it continues even if temperatures rise.

“Once people are sick and contagious, many more may become infected.”

Some experts believe the virus is passed more readily in winter months due to a tendency to congregate indoors.

It only takes one person carrying the flu virus to send a shower of infectious droplets across a room full of people, they warn.

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