U.K. Could Be Facing the Worst Flu Epidemic in Half Century

Flu medication and thermometer

Experts warn that the ongoing flu season in the United Kingdom could morph into the worst flu epidemic since the deadly Hong Kong flu (1968). That epidemic’s death toll was 1 million people worldwide.

According to experts, the groups with the higher risk of dying from flu includes the elderly, small children, pregnant women, HIV patients, and other people with compromised immune systems.

On top of that, this year’s flu vaccine is inefficient in providing the necessary protection as the flu strain has mutated.

In the U.K., there are only five areas that have not reported any flu cases related to the dangerous flu strain called the H3N2 or the “Aussie strain.”

The number of people who were hospitalized over a flu diagnosis has tripled around Christmas. This is because sick people attending family reunions are bringing the influenza with them.

A Deadly Flu Epidemic In the Making

Hospitals announced that they my have to postpone more appointments and surgeries to be able to cope with the influx of new patients expected for the coming weeks. Around 55,000 procedures have been put on hold.

Professor Robert Dingwall explained that this year’s flu virus is so vicious because it has mutated, and the vaccine is only 10% effective. Before researchers discovered the Aussie strain the vaccine had already been produced.

Experts expect a worse flu season than last year’s. In 2017, by the end of the flu season, 68 people died of the flu. One expert noted that the jury is still out on whether this year’s flu season is the worst in a generation.

Since flu is highly infectious, once it reaches an area or a country, there isn’t much we can do about it. Researchers expect the flu season to last four to five more weeks, which means medical procedures could be canceled through February.
Image Source: Free Great Pictures

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