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Experts fear early flu wave could combine with monkeypox and covid this year

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Britain should prepare for an early flu outbreak to coincide with the rise of Covid and smallpox of monkeys cases, the leading expert warned.

Health officials have said they are expecting an “early flu wave” in the UK because there has not been a “proper” flu season since the start of the Covid pandemic.

Dr Susan Hopkins, the UKHSA’s chief medical adviser, said she was watching Australia – currently in the winter season – “very closely” after the flu strain “started early and spread rapidly across all age groups “.

She said the country was facing “the worst flu season in five years” and could be repeated in the UK as early as September.

Meanwhile, Dr Hopkins added that we will see at least one more wave of Covid later this year in association with “ongoing transmission of monkeypox”.

There are also growing fears that the National Health Service will be simultaneously decimated by Covid when colder weather and darker evenings lead to more social contact indoors – where the virus spreads more easily.

Flu is a seasonal threat to the NHS, with outbreaks more likely between September and March because the colder weather forces more people indoors, where the virus – like Covid – spreads more easily.

But last winter, the flu virtually disappeared amid lockdowns aimed at controlling the spread of Covid.

Britain should prepare for an early flu outbreak to coincide with a surge in Covid and monkeypox cases, a leading expert has warned (file image)

Health officials said they are waiting

Health officials said they are waiting

Health officials have said they are expecting an “early flu wave” in the UK because there has not been a “proper” flu season since the start of the Covid pandemic

Dr Susan Hopkins, UKHSA's chief medical adviser, said we would see at least one more wave of Covid later this year in association with

Dr Susan Hopkins, UKHSA's chief medical adviser, said we would see at least one more wave of Covid later this year in association with

Dr Susan Hopkins, UKHSA’s chief medical adviser, said we would see at least one more wave of Covid later this year in association with “ongoing transmission of monkeypox”.

Experts are now worried about the lack of population immunity after the pandemic and the prospect of a bad winter that could paralyze the NHS, reports Telegraph.

Speaking at a webinar organized by the Royal Society of Medicine on Thursday, Dr Hopkins said: “We are planning for a flu wave. I don’t know if people are watching Australia, but we are watching very, very closely.

“It started earlier and it picked up very, very quickly in all age groups, so we expect to see an early wave of flu.

“While we don’t usually see the real onset of flu until late November-December, it could happen as early as late September-October – that’s what we’re projecting.”

Meanwhile, Dr Hopkins added that we will see at least one more wave of Covid later this year in association with “ongoing transmission of monkeypox”.

She added: “We will see at least one wave of Covid in the autumn/winter once we get through the current wave. And for at least the next six months, we’re going to have continuous transmission of monkeypox from the population.”

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest that 1.3 million people in England were infected in the week to June 18, a fifth more than the previous estimate. Still, the weekly increase is half of the 40 percent jump recorded in last week’s forecast.

Cases are also increasing in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Experts previously told MailOnline that the figures suggested the current wave “may already be slowing down” and “may not go as high after all”. They admitted, however, that the peak is still ahead.

Dr. Hopkins said:

Dr. Hopkins said:

Dr. Hopkins said: “For the next six months we will continue to have transmission of monkeypox.”

Omicron substrains BA.4 and BA.5 are now the dominant strains in the UK, the UK Health Agency confirmed today for the first time. They are thought to be even more contagious than their previous versions, which were responsible for the pandemic’s peak cases in December and April, but are just as mild.

Meanwhile, the number of monkeypox cases in the UK has topped 1,000 as the rare disease continues to spread, officials confirmed today.

UK Health Agency (UKHSA) chiefs said there were 1,076 infections as of Sunday, almost double the number two weeks ago.

Authorities said they expected the number of cases to rise further in the coming days and advised anyone going to large events or having sex with new partners to “be alert” for symptoms.

Dr Hopkins revealed there were now 20 to 40 new cases every day and said: “This year is going to be even more difficult than usual.”


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