More than 300 in intensive care with flu
The number of people in intensive care with flu has jumped to 302 – up from 182 last week. Most of these were suffering from infection by the H1N1 ‘swine flu’ virus, according to officials. Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies has said that despite the surge in hospitalisations due to flu, the NHS is coping and there is no shortage of beds. The government is urging individuals in ‘at-risk’ groups to get themselves immunised after reports that uptake of the seasonal flu vaccination is particularly low this year. Shadow Health Secretary Jon Healy suggested that an autumn advertising campaign focusing on vaccination would have helped increase uptake of the seasonal flu jab. The annual publicity campaign was axed as a result of government spending cuts. Government Director of Immunization, Professor David Salisbury said that pregnant women, who represent one of the most ‘at-risk’ groups, should "seek every means to get vaccinated as soon as possible".