Warning to parents over common virus that's putting kids in hospital | The Sun

PARENTS have been warned to be on the lookout for flu symptoms as hospitalisations increase in kids.

Rates have gone up in the under fives in the last week, data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) states.

The number of people testing positive for the bug has remained stable at 6.9 per cent, but cases are highest in five to 14-year-olds, at 12.3 per cent.

Hospitalisation rates are highest in those aged 85 and over, followed by the under fives, with 2.96 per cent per 100,000 people being in hospital, up from 1.47 per cent last week.

The number of people in hospital is slightly above what would be expected for this time of year, the weekly report dated October 31 to November 13 states.

Flu can have serious consequences for young children and the elderly and in some cases, can lead to death, experts at John Hopkins Medicine state.

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Dr Conall Watson, consultant epidemiologist at the UKHSA urged parents to get their children vaccinated against the bug.

Uptake is currently lowest in those aged two and three-years-old.

Dr Watson said: "Children under five continue to be hospitalised with flu this autumn. Children aged two and three can be protected by an NHS flu vaccine, but the numbers getting what is a straightforward nasal spray vaccine are still low – less than 30 per cent.

"As we go into winter we expect flu levels to increase. Nobody wants their child to get sick. I strongly urge parents to book with their local GP nurse as soon as possible.”

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Figures also show that more Brits have been calling NHS 111 with symptoms relating to the flu.

Up to November 13, the number of calls for a cough increased, with the number of calls for cold or flu also increasing nationally, mainly in those aged one to 14-years-old.

In most cases, flu will often get better on its own, but it can make some people very unwell.

The NHS states that flu symptoms can come on fast and may include:

  1. sudden high temperature
  2. aching body
  3. feeling tired or exhausted
  4. dry cough
  5. sore throat
  6. headache
  7. difficulty sleeping
  8. loss of appetite
  9. diarrhoea or tummy pain
  10. feeling sick and being sick

Guidance states that the symptoms of the flu are similar for children, but that they may also experience pain in their ears and they could become less active.

The best way to treat the flu, is to rest, sleep, keep warm, stay hydrated and take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains, the NHS says.

Last week The Sun launched its 'Do the Double', campaign, encouraging Brits to get both flu and Covid jabs.

Figures show 6,263 people in England booked flu shots online last weekend — more than double the 3,031 the weekend before.

There are still 17million people eligible for a flu vaccine, and around 11million who can get an Omicron Covid booster.

Ministers are desperate to boost jab uptake among care workers, with only five per cent vaccinated against flu and 12 per cent against Covid

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People can book appointments online, by calling 119 or contacting a pharmacy or GP surgery.

If you are worried about your symptoms you should contact your GP, in the event of an emergency, always call 999.

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