Aussie flu LATEST: Almost 600 hospitalised in seven days - deadly infection spread goes on

Almost 200 people were admitted into intensive care during the second week of January, latest Public Health England (PHE) figures have revealed.

The Aussie flu H3N2 virus was responsible for 20 of those patients.

In total, 598 people were hospitalised with flu during the second week of January.

Almost 50 of the hospital patients were infected with Aussie flu.

Since the beginning of the winter flu season, 485 people have been admitted to hospital after Aussie flu infection, according to PHE’s Weekly National Influenza Report.

Seventeen people died from flu during the seven days to January 14.

A total of 120 people have now died from the influenza virus this winter.

The number of people visiting GPs over flu-related illnesses increase 42 per cent during the week, the figures revealed.

PHE’s Medical Director, Professor Paul Cosford, said: “Our data continues to show that more people are visiting GPs with flu symptoms, and we are seeing more people admitted to hospital with flu.

“In terms of hospital admission, this is the most significant flu season since the winter of 2010/11 and the preceding pandemic year of 2009, although it is not an epidemic.

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

“The A[H3N2] strain particularly affects older, more vulnerable age groups.

“The best form of protection against flu is to get the vaccine if you are eligible and to practice good respiratory and hand hygiene.”

Aussie flu symptoms include headaches, sore throats, vomiting, difficulty sleeping and a fever.

While the symptoms are similar to normal flu, they are more severe and tend to last longer.

Washing your hands regularly with warm water and soap could lower your risk of infection.

If you think you may have the infection, it’s not advised to visit your GP as you could spread the virus further.

Only see your GP if you’re over 65, are pregnant, or have an underlying medical condition.