Ten instances extra individuals are in hospital with flu than this time final yr, newest figures present.
There have been a mean of 344 sufferers a day with flu in hospital final week, in contrast with the 31 seen initially of December final yr, in keeping with information launched by NHS England.
It comes amid pressures on staffing too, with new figures exhibiting practically 360,000 NHS employees have been absent from work final week by way of sickness or self-isolating resulting from COVID.
Round 19 in 20 common and acute beds have been taken up – 80% for grownup crucial care, NHS England’s first weekly winter replace additionally confirmed.
Greater than 13,000 (13,179) beds a day have been taken up final week by sufferers who not wanted one – that is up 1 / 4 in comparison with the primary week of December final yr (10,510).
It follows a warning from NHS leaders that it’s going through the specter of a “tripledemic” of COVID, flu and file demand on pressing and emergency companies.
Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS nationwide medical director, stated: “The primary weekly information this yr exhibits the appreciable strain confronted by employees earlier than we enter what’s prone to be the NHS’s most difficult winter ever.
“The figures additionally present that flu is sadly already with us and so the considerations that we had about the specter of a ‘tripledemic’ are very actual. It has by no means been extra vital to get protected towards the viruses forward of winter so please ebook in on your jab if you’re eligible if not already achieved so.
“The NHS has in depth plans in place to cope with winter boosting mattress capability – recruiting extra name handlers, introducing 24/7 management centres to trace and handle demand and new falls companies throughout the nation.
“Hospitals proceed to deal with extra sufferers coming in than going out, with hundreds of sufferers daily in hospital which might be medically match for discharge, and so we proceed to work with colleagues in social care to do the whole lot doable to make sure folks can depart hospital when they’re prepared.”
Flu season is right here – and hitting the youngest and aged hardest
Flu season is right here and the warning about crippling winter strain on the NHS is beginning to come true.
We monitor what occurs with flu within the southern hemisphere to attempt to predict what influence the virus may have on us when winter comes. It hit Australia laborious and early and that may very well be repeated right here within the subsequent few months.
Already a whole lot of NHS beds in England have been taken up by sufferers with flu daily during the last week, in keeping with the newest information. A mean of 344 sufferers a day with flu have been in hospital final week. That is greater than ten instances the quantity seen initially of December final yr.
Flu hits the youngest and aged hardest. It’s particularly harmful for kids with underlying well being situations. Kids’s medical doctors say “paediatric winter” has began.
November is when RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) circumstances spike. It’s a frequent winter virus however social distancing in the course of the pandemic means it has not circulated extensively over the previous two years. That additionally means younger kids haven’t been uncovered to those winter respiratory viruses earlier than.
As RSV circumstances begin to decline in the direction of the top of November flu circumstances begin to rise.
Paediatricians are actually fearful a couple of scarcity of intensive care beds for very sick kids.
A senior marketing consultant informed me: “There have been hardly any PICU (paediatric intensive care unit) beds within the south of the UK for the previous few days and youngsters are ready generally greater than 24 hours within the EDs?
“The scenario for kids is terrible however nobody appears to be mentioning it. Whereas for adults it’s all the time made clear how terrible it’s. It’s most likely as unhealthy if not worse for kids.”