Flu and Covid are on the rise in England, with experts stressing the importance of vaccination and warning that people who feel unwell should stay at home rather than mingling with others during the festive season.
The figures come as cases of scarlet fever and strep A infections continue to rise.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) added that while invasive strep A infections remain rare there have now been a total of 94 deaths in England, including 21 children.
Dr Colin Brown, the deputy director at UKHSA, sought to reassure parents. “I understand how this large rise in scarlet fever and ‘strep throat’ may be concerning to parents, however the condition can be easily treated with antibiotics and it is very rare that a child will go on to become more seriously ill,” he said, adding that parents should visit NHS.UK, contact 111 online or their GP surgery if their child has symptoms so they can be assessed for treatment.
Dr Mary Ramsay, the director of public health programmes at UKHSA, noted a link between indoor mixing and the rise in cases and hospital admissions for flu and Covid.
“Both Covid and flu can cause severe illness or even death for those most vulnerable in our communities, and so it is also important to avoid contact with other people if you are unwell in order to help stop infections spreading over the Christmas and new year period,” she said.
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Source: The Guardian, 23 December 2022