Written by Staff Writer
Some counties in the UK have experienced increased levels of flu infection this year compared to last, according to a Public Health England report which reveals a number of new infection trends.
A total of 10,500 in the UK contracted the flu over the past week ending on October 18, compared to 7,500 during the same period in 2018, PHE reported.
The 2017-18 season was a particularly harsh one, PHE said, averaging 50,000 infections per week during October and November and 42,000 per week for November through January.
Although the total number of patients in public hospital services had fallen during the first week of October, the drop was “not significant”, the organization said.
The reduction is due to “a decrease in the number of new cases being admitted to hospital,” according to the report.
Meanwhile, in Germany, the number of influenza cases rose over the past week — from 256,400 to 311,400.
Over the past five weeks, Germany has also recorded its highest proportion of so-called H3N2 strains.
Bavaria (12%), Lower Saxony (8%) and the Brandenburg states (8%) had “particularly high” rates of high-risk cases, according to data from PHE.
The past week in Germany also saw the highest number of so-called Influenza A (H1N1) seasonal illnesses — up from 39,500 to 51,200. That’s in addition to 49,400 cases of Influenza B, in what PHE is calling “a balanced outbreak.”
These numbers come after the German government confirmed that 42 people had died in Germany from the flu, making it the worst flu season so far this year.
In a statement last week, German health minister Jens Spahn said there were more deaths than normal, but that flu cases had decreased compared to previous years.
“Our task is to save as many lives as possible,” he said.
Covered in mold, mullion flooring killed
For the past year, Iceland has seen its highest numbers of influenza-related deaths in its history, with 478 cases during 2018, according to the World Health Organization.
More than 6,000 people have died in Iceland over the past 20 years due to influenza, according to the WHO.
Iceland is contending with poor water supplies and a lack of electricity, reports the Associated Press. In January, it was also confirmed that an entire apartment block was covered in mold and exposed flooring.
The country’s weather also tends to be erratic due to high winds, making it more likely for flu germs to spread.