Brits told to stay home if unwell in latest Christmas warning as cases rise again

Health officials have urged the public to stay home if unwell rather than mingle with others over the Christmas period as Covid-19 and flu cases rise.

The number of people hospitalized in England with Covid-19 has risen to its highest level in almost two months, with admissions again exceeding those of people with the flu.

A total of 8,643 hospital patients had tested positive for coronavirus on December 21, an increase of 29% from the previous week, according to NHS data.

Flu admissions overtook Covid admissions earlier in December but have now fallen behind – although both sets of rates continue to rise week on week.

Dr Mary Ramsay, director of public health programs at the UK Health Security Agency, said: “We are seeing an increase in cases and hospital admissions for influenza and Covid-19 as people continue to mingle indoors this winter.

“Covid-19 and influenza can both cause serious illness or even death in the most vulnerable people in our communities, so it is also important to avoid contact with other people if you do not feel well to help stop the spread of infections over the Christmas and New Year period.

About two-thirds of hospitalized patients who test positive for Covid-19 are primarily treated for something else.

But they must be isolated from people who do not have the virus, placing additional demands on staff already facing increased pressures, delays in discharge of medically fit patients and the spread of other winter infections.

Flu cases are on the rise (PA)

Cases of infections linked to the bacteria Strep A, such as scarlet fever, have also raised concerns. UKHSA deputy director Dr Colin Brown has sought to reassure parents after 24 children are believed to have died from a severe form of Strep A infection in recent months.

“I understand how worried this big increase in scarlet fever and strep throat can be for parents, but the condition can be easily treated with antibiotics and it’s very rare for a child to become more seriously ill,” a- he declared. , adding that parents should visit NHS.UK, contact 111 online or their doctor’s office if their child has symptoms so they can be assessed for treatment.

Separate figures released on Thursday show an average of 1,939 people with flu were hospitalized in England each day last week, up 67% from 1,162 the previous week.

According to the latest UKHSA data, around one in five people in England in the oldest age groups have yet to receive a further booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Some 81.6% of people aged 80 and over are likely to have received the jab, along with a similar proportion of 75-79 year olds (81.9%) and 70-74 year olds (78.6% ).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *