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Flu cases fall again

By Lilian Anekwe

GP consultations for influenza-like illness have fallen again, the latest figures compiled by the Health Protection Agency show.

The figures show that there have been 40.7 GP consultations per 100,000 in England and Wales, compared with 66.5 last week and 124 a month.

The latest figures on flu vaccine uptake show 72.2% of over 65s and 49.1% of under 65s in at risk groups have been vaccinated, again an improvement on the figures, 71.7% and 48% respectively, recorded last week.

The HPA has also verified a total of 338 deaths in the UK since the flu season began in October last year.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, interim chief medical officer said: ‘I am cautiously pleased with the decline in cases again this week. But winter isn't over yet and we still all need to be on our guard against flu.

‘It isn't too late for people in an at risk group to be vaccinated and I would urge people to contact their GP or practice nurse to make an appointment.

‘Any GP who has seen demand exceed supply has been able to order extra vaccine from manufacturers and from our central stock of the Pandemrix vaccine.

‘I would like to thank everyone working in the NHS for their hard work and dedication so far this winter. It's been a tough winter, the NHS has been under pressure but, thanks to the detailed planning that was put in place in advance, it has coped fantastically well.'

GPs can order extra supplies of Pandemrix from central DH stocks