Are you ready for the winter influenza season?
Seasonal influenza represents a significant healthcare burden in terms of morbidity, mortality and related costs. Statistics show that the last winter outbreak (2018/19) was relatively mild, with 1340 outbreaks compared to 2149 the previous year, the highest reported since the appearance of swine influenza. Although this could be partly attributed to the failure of the influenza vaccine to protect against some key strains, the severity of the winter influenza season in the UK is unpredictable. National statistics showed that there were 50,000 excess winter deaths in 2017/18, the worst since 1975/76, and clearly the impact of the winter season can add to these numbers and exacerbate the pressure already placed on the NHS.
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