Aussie flu: Influenza strain ‘not actually a new strain’ says Public Health England

January 5, 2018
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Ausse flu is not a new strain and has been circulating for many years, including the UK last winter, Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed.

Sutton, in south London and Banstead have been dubbed a “red zone” by FluSurvey after alleged reports of cases of the influenza strain.

However, PHE could not provide specific numbers of individual flu strains broken down by county and therefore could not confirm the number of cases in the alleged “red zone”.

Flu type A, also known as H3N2, has been circulating for many years according to PHE and has confirmed the flu vaccination available will be “the best defence” to deal with the strain.

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A Public Health England spokesman said: “Flu activity, as measured by a number of different systems, has continued to increase in the last week or two.

“This is to be expected as the season progresses, and while no two flu seasons are the same, the numbers are in-keeping with previous years.

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

“We see this H3N2 subtype in many flu seasons and the circulating flu strains match those in the current flu vaccines, meaning they are still the best defence we have against the virus.

“As in past flu seasons, the Chief Medical Officer has authorised the use of antivirals for treating flu-like illnesses communities.

Sutton and Banstead have been highlighted as “red zone” areas for Aussie flu
(Image: Google Maps/FluServe)

“We will continue to actively monitor flu activity and we are working closely with NHS England to support their work putting measures in place to manage potential increases in local and national flu activity.

“It is not too late to get vaccinated and we therefore urge all who are eligible, especially those in at-risk groups that include people aged 65 years or over, pregnant women, and those with certain chronic conditions, to take up the offer of the vaccine.”

In September 2017, PHE told Get Surrey that it was not correct to conclude the UK would be hit by the same strain of flu that occurred in Australia .

Public health experts, including Professor Robert Dingwall , believe this could be the most serious flu outbreak in 50 years, with cases already confirmed in some parts of the country.

For information on how to protect yourself and others, including vaccination, and what to do if you think you may have influenza visit the NHS choices pages on flu here

Keep up to date with the latest news from around the county via the free Get Surrey app.

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Article source: http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/aussie-flu-influenza-strain-not-14116559


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