The flu is having a “moderate impact” on hospital admissions.
Public Health England’s (PHE) has confirmed the number of seasonal influenza cases is on the rise.
The main subtype circulating is influenza A (H3N2), which PHE states is matched to the strain included in this season’s influenza vaccine.
PHE says that while the flu is having a “moderate impact” on hospital admissions and critical care areas, there has been “no statistically significant” rise in mortality by age group in England this season.
GP consultations with patients suffering from flu-like illnesses have also increased.
Alongside other diseases like norovirus that normally increase during winter, seasonal flu puts extra pressure on the NHS every year.
As of the end of November, only 61.5% of healthcare workers are vaccinated.
Catch it. Bin it. Kill it.
PHE has activated the ‘Catch It, Bin It, Kill It’ campaign to help prevent the spread of the highly infectious disease.
Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, Head of Flu, Public Health England said: “Flu season has now started and so it’s really important that people get their flu vaccine as soon as possible to ensure they are protected against this potentially very serious illness.
“The initial evidence suggests the vaccine is a good match for the main strain of flu that is circulating.
“Flu is very infectious and spread by germs from coughs and sneezes, which can live on hands and surfaces for 24 hours.
“To reduce the risk of spreading flu, use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze, wash your hands often with warm water and soap, and bin used tissues as quickly as possible. Catch it. Bin it. Kill it.”