The worst flu epidemic for 50 years is on the way to the UK

The United Kingdom is getting ready to one of the vital worst flu epidemics for part a century. Here is what you want to understand concerning the so-called 'Aussie flu', with recommendation from mavens together with Dr Richard Pebody, Head of Breathing at Public Well being England

Well being mavens have warned that Britain may quickly be coping with one the worst flu epidemics for 50 years. The caution comes after a iciness in Australia that noticed over 170,000 circumstances of influenza. Now the so-called ‘Aussie flu’ virus – which brought about quite a few deaths in Australia, together with mom of 2 Jennifer Thew – is anticipated to unfold to the United Kingdom.

Right here’s what you want to understand, together with recommendation on take on Aussie flu from Dr Richard Pebody, Head of Breathing at Public Well being England.

What's Aussie flu?

Aussie flu is a specifically vicious iciness malicious program, often referred to as H3N2. The virus brings on critical flu signs, together with a sore throat, headache and fever, even though victims have additionally complained of arthritic-style joint ache and fatigue. In some circumstances the virus has resulted in further headaches, similar to pneumonia. With out headaches, the flu has a tendency to final for approximately per week. Aussie flu – or the H3N2 subtype – is especially bad for the aged, whose immune methods are extra susceptible.

What are the elemental variations between a chilly and flu?

‘A cold is usually a milder respiratory illness than that caused by flu’, says Dr Richard Pebody, Head of Breathing at Public Well being England. ‘While cold symptoms can make you feel unwell for a day or two, flu symptoms can make you feel quite ill for a few days to longer. With flu you are also more likely to have a high temperature and systemic symptoms such as shivering and muscle aches. The flu can also result in more serious complications such as pneumonia, or trigger underlying heart and lung problems, which often results in hospitalisation.’

What are the typical misconceptions folks have about flu?

‘Some people believe that flu and flu like symptoms can be treated with antibiotics’ says Dr Pebody. ‘However flu is caused by a virus and not bacteria and therefore antibiotics will not help. The exception is if you develop a secondary bacterial infection later in the infection. That’s why in case you aren't making improvements to after per week or so, or you probably have underlying well being issues, you will have to seek the advice of your physician in case you assume you have got the flu.’

Is there any approach Aussie flu can also be avoided from coming to the United Kingdom?

Because of international shuttle the flu virus could be very prone to be unfold to the United Kingdom from Australia this iciness. ‘There is no point in trying to close the borders’ Professor Robert Dingwall, a well being knowledgeable at Nottingham Trent college informed the Day-to-day Categorical. ‘It’s nearly inevitable this may occasionally come to us. That is probably the worst iciness because the Hong Kong flu outbreak of 1968. A lot of people had been very badly affected in Australia and while their mortality charges aren't out but, we suspect it is a extra critical pressure than maximum different years.’

Is there an Aussie flu vaccine?

There may be, however as Dr Chris Steele defined on This Morning, there’s a query over how efficient it is going to be. A vaccine towards Aussie flu used to be evolved in the United Kingdom in March, made the usage of the virus hitting Australia, nevertheless it’s estimated that through time the flu involves the United Kingdom the tension may have mutated, probably hanging ‘huge pressure’ at the NHS. On the other hand, he nonetheless advisable that as many of us as conceivable, specifically over 65s or pregnant girls, get a preventative jab (Boots be offering loose vaccinations for folks in danger.) Dr Richard Pebody says, ‘Typically effectiveness of a flu vaccine is in the range of 40-60%. If the vaccine effectiveness is 40%, this means that 40 people in every 100 who have the vaccine will be protected against flu.’

Aussie flu

What else are you able to do to stop catching Aussie flu?

NHS tips counsel glaring however easy prevention techniques: washing your palms often with cleaning soap and water, the usage of tissues to hide your mouth whilst you sneeze, hanging used tissues within the bin once conceivable and often cleansing surfaces similar to keyboards, telephones and door handles. Additionally they counsel staying off paintings if you're feeling ill to stop the flu’s unfold. ‘The best practical measure to avoid the flu is to practice good hygiene’, says Dr Pebody. ‘A very easy instance of that is the “Catch it, bin it, kill it” marketing campaign – whilst you cough or sneeze, catch it in a tissue, bin the tissue, after which wash your palms after.’

What are the most productive tactics to maintain Aussie flu if we do catch it?

‘Flu is characterised by a high temperature, chills, headache, aching muscles and joint pain and fatigue’ says Dr Pebody. ‘For most healthy people, flu symptoms can make you feel so exhausted and unwell that you have to stay in bed and rest until you get better. If you’re in a different way are compatible and wholesome, there’s in most cases no wish to see a physician you probably have flu-like signs. The most efficient treatment is to relaxation at house, stay heat and drink a lot of water to keep away from dehydration. You'll take paracetamol or ibuprofen to decrease a prime temperature and relieve aches if vital. On the other hand maximum prescribed flu treatments already comprise those, so watch out to not exceed the advisable dose.’

How is the United Kingdom getting ready for the flu’s arrival?

Remaining month, NHS leader Simon Stevens introduced the purpose of liberating up three,000 beds. ‘The signs from Australia and New Zealand, who are just coming out of winter, are that it has been a heavy flu season and many of the hospitals have struggled’ he stated, ‘In some parts of this country there are real pressures, so we are using the next six to eight weeks to really be clear what the plan needs to be. The plan to free up 2,000 to 3,000 beds relies on significant improvement in that area.’

Is there an reason for why flu pandemics occur?

‘At the moment, we see two influenza A subtypes that circulate in the human population – A(H3N2) and A(H1N1) pdm09’ says Dr Pebody. ‘A flu pandemic is when a different flu A subtype emerges and circulates in humans. As the population is not immune to this new virus, pandemics will cause a sharp rise in cases of the flu. This does not happen frequently and there is a lot of preparation that the UK and other countries have made to detect such pandemics early and put in place measures to try to mitigate their impact.’

The put up The worst flu epidemic for 50 years is on the right way to the United Kingdom seemed first on Marie Claire.

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