This year’s flu season could be bigger and worse, as it combined with Covid causes a dangerous ‘twin disease’, doctors warn.
There are now concerns that the simultaneous bout of flu and Covid could overload the NHS, which is already trying to clear record backlogs.
Figures from the Southern Hemisphere, which usually predict what will happen in the UK, point to a flu wave two months earlier than usual, mostly caused by people under the age of 30.
It suggests a spike in flu hospitalizations in Britain could start as early as October, including many children.
This year’s flu season could be bigger and worse as it combines with Covid to create dangerous ‘twin disease’, doctors have warned
One estimate suggests that flu season could be twice as long as normal.
Sir Peter Horby, professor of emerging infectious diseases at Oxford University, told the Mirror: ‘It could come earlier and bigger then you have ‘twin disease’ with Covid-19 and that could really put pressure on the NHS.’
In a typical flu season, there are between 15,000 and 30,000 hospitalizations due to the virus.
dr. Simon Clarke, an associate professor of cellular microbiology at Reading University, also said, “We’ve never had a… [flu and Covid] double breakout so I’m afraid this season could be particularly bad in the UK.
Getting the flu and Covid together is particularly dangerous.
‘We have the NHS under tremendous pressure as it catches up’ [from the pandemic] so there you have a problem.’
The healthcare waiting list has reached a record 6.8 million in England, with emergency rooms often full and ambulances often queuing outside with patients unable to unload them
In a typical flu season, there are between 15,000 and 30,000 hospitalizations due to the virus
The healthcare waiting list has reached a record 6.8 million in England, with Emergency rooms are often full and ambulances are often lined up outside with patients unable to unload them.
This is also because covid is about to flare up again, leading experts claimed amid signs the virus has already bounced back in parts of England.
Official figures released yesterday showed the country’s outbreak is smaller than it has been for nearly a year, with just 705,000 people in England thought to be infected – about one in 75.
It marked a 9 percent drop from the previous weekly estimate by the Office for National Statistics.
Although cases have fallen across the country since mid-July, scientists predict they will inevitably rise again in the coming weeks as people spend more time indoors, students return to classrooms and students return to college.
Covid infections have already started to increase again, up 20 percent from two weeks ago, with one in 42 people currently living with the virus, the latest figures suggest.
Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday (September 19) and ceremonial events held over the past week to mark her passing led to suggestions that the massive crowds could fuel the spread of the virus.
However, Professor Hunter said he doesn’t believe the events will “play a major role” in rising rates.
After the platinum anniversary in June, “although cases were rising, they were too fast to be due to the anniversary and it probably had more to do with the school holidays and people going abroad, rather than mass gatherings,” he told MailOnline.
The Women’s Euros, considered another source of mass gatherings, also had little “any real impact” on rates, he added.
Weekly estimates published by the ONS, which are closely monitored by the government, are considered the most accurate way to track the shape of the outbreak in the UK.
Unlike the number of reported infections, which has been wildly inaccurate since the mass testing program was halted in April, it does not rely on Britons testing themselves and reporting the result.
Cases also fell in Wales (28,200, down 11 per cent) and Northern Ireland (33,700, down 12 per cent), although the ONS was not entirely confident in the overall trend.
In Scotland, however, the prevalence rose to 113,500, up 9 percent from the previous week.
The numbers — which reflect the week ending Sept. 5 — are based on swabs from a representative sample that includes thousands of people.
Breaking down by region, cases were found to increase in South West and Yorkshire (1.5 percent prevalence) and The Humber (1.3 percent).
Separate NHS England statistics released two days ago also show a sharp rise in the average number of Covid hospital admissions in the South West, compared to the previous week.
Between September 5 and September 12, the number of admissions in the region increased by almost a fifth (18.9 percent) from an average of 43 per day to 52.
But in total, in the week to September 12, an average of 519 Covid-infected people with the virus were admitted in England – eight times lower than the level at the peak. Not all of these patients are necessarily sick with the virus.
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