Worst Flu Season Since 2010-11
Flu season 2017-18 has hit the news, as figures show large numbers suffering from the virus. There has been criticism that the flu jab provides insufficient protection, yet doctors argue that any protection is better than none.
1,283 new admissions and 155 confirmed deaths have been recorded since October 2017.
Last week saw 205 new cases of flu being cared for in intensive care/high dependency units according to Public Health England’s weekly national influenza report; while the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) said that flu admissions across the UK were up 150% since the start of 2018.
The Aussie flu in particular has been in the news – a strain is known as H3N2. The symptoms are severe and this year’s flu jab only gives 20% effective protection against it, as the virus has mutated at a rapid pace.
Flu Jab – Is It Worth It?
This year’s flu jab has come under fire as giving insufficient protection. Although the flu jab does not give 100% protection, it does give some. One of the big flu strains ‘Yagamata’ was not included in the vaccination, but vaccination against the H3N2 virus (Aussie flu) is included, although is only around 20-30% effective as the virus has mutated.
Certainly those in the ‘vulnerable’ groups (e.g. elderly, asthmatics, diabetics, pregnant women) should not risk flu at all. Vaccination is also a benefit to children to avoid spreading the disease. And while it won’t give 100% protection, even the general population could still benefit from flu vaccination to avoid catching and spreading what is a very unpleasant illness.
Professor Paul Cosford, medical director of Public Health England, said:
“The best form of protection against flu is to get the vaccine if you are eligible and to practice good respiratory and hand hygiene.”
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the RCGP, agreed:
“The best prevention for flu, other than observing good hygienic practices, such as regular hand washing, is for people, particularly those in at-risk groups, including patients with long-term conditions and pregnant women, to get their flu jab.
“It is not too late to receive some benefit from vaccination.”
Flu Jabs in London
Private flu vaccination is available at The Smart Clinics based in Brompton Cross (North London) and Wandsworth (South London). Their private clinics offer generous appointment times and extended opening hours to suit busy schedules.
On behalf of The Smart Clinics, a spokesperson explained:
“Flu can be a very nasty disease, which can leave patients feeling run-down and below par for weeks after. The flu jab is a fast, safe and effective means of ensuring protection from the inconvenience and unpleasantness caused by the virus.
“We highly recommend the flu jab for all patients, not just those deemed at risk.”
The Smart Clinics
The Smart Clinics is best known for its unique membership based private GP service with access to a friendly team of experienced doctors, which entitles individuals, families and corporate members to unlimited GP access for a monthly fee. Private dentistry is also available as an optional extra.
However, non-members are also welcome to access The Smart Clinics’ GPs, nurses and healthcare professionals on a ‘pay as you go’ basis.
For more information contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7052 0070.