Officials with Public Health England report that influenza is starting to circulate in the community and is at moderate levels.
Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 is the dominant subtype, which is well matched to the strain included in this season’s vaccine.
Richard Pebody, Head of Flu at Public Health England said:
We have seen a rise in several of the flu indicators we track in the last week which suggests flu is now circulating in the community in England.
This year, we’ve offered a more effective ‘adjuvanted’ vaccine to those aged 65 years and over; a ‘quadrivalent’ vaccine, which helps protect against four strains of flu, to those aged 18 to 64 with underlying health conditions, and further roll-out of the nasal spray vaccine to an extra school year, as part of the children’s flu vaccine programme.
Uptake of the flu vaccine in pre-school age children is at its highest ever level, and rates of vaccination among eligible adults are similar to recent seasons. We are currently seeing mainly A(H1N1)pdm09 circulating which is well matched to the strains in this year’s flu vaccines.
The best form of protection against flu is to get the vaccine if you are eligible and to practice good respiratory and hand hygiene.