Aussie flu, which created havoc in Australia for around two decades, has now gripped UK and is spreading like wildfire. A 'red zone' map by 'flusurvey' project has revealed the hotspots for the viral disease in the country and guess what, six more crisis zones were identified in the last 24 hours.
The online system for measuring influenza trends uses a colour gradient to categorise areas in UK from 'no reports' to 'very high' and the situation looks bleak. While Rochldale, Bury and Bolton are coloured red, Burnley, Blackburn and Wingan still show lower risk.
While 24 people have died in UK from flu last week, the number of patients in hospitals has risen alarmingly from 1,280 to 3,750, according to Public Health, England.
Aussie flu, which is scientifically known as H3N2, has symptoms like high fever, aching body, dry cough and diarrhea. Experts also warn that this strain of influenza can cause problems for the elderly. Children have also complained of ear pain when attacked by the virus.
Vaccination and cure
Luckily, doctors are hopeful about vaccines. They claim that though the effectiveness data of flu vaccine is not available still, it is expected to give protection against Aussie flu.
However, things are not bright as experts reveal the shortcomings as well. While the vaccine offered protection to two-thirds of children and four in 10 adults, the shot had almost zero effect on senior people, especially those above 65 years of age, reported the Telegraph.
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairman of the Royal College of GPs urged patients to receive their vaccination, especially those who fall within the risk group or are pregnant.
Health experts also advised that if any of the above symptoms persist well over seven days, one should immediately rush to the hospital and get a thorough health check-up done as this flu virus trigger pneumonia and other potentially fatal complications.
since 'prevention is better than cure', one should also know ways to prevent falling prey to the H3N2 virus. One should be careful while interacting with a potential patient and avoid close contact with him or her. One should also cover mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing and avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth.
Unfortunately, it is not only Aussie virus that UK people need to be careful about, but also Norovirus, known as the winter vomiting bug that spreads by the fecal-oral route and sometimes via contaminated surfaces or through the air.
Recently, multiple cases of norovirus have been confirmed in Dutchess County and six hospital wards are on lockdown at Blyth. The norovirus was originally named 'Norwalk agent' after Norwalk, Ohio, US. However, it was discovered in 1936 Roskilde Denmark and was known as 'Roskilde illness'