17 December 2019

‘Not Too Late to Get a Flu Jab,' Says RCGP Chair

Commenting on the latest flu figures from the RCGP's Research and Surveillance Centre, Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:

"Almost 8,000* patients went to their GP with influenza-like-illness last week (2-8 December) - up 1,500 on the previous week, according to data from the RCGP's Research and Surveillance Centre.

"Winter is certainly upon us and our Research and Surveillance Centre figures show rates of influenza-like-illness are higher than the five-year average, although still within levels that would be expected at this time of year. The rise is particularly notable in patients aged 5-14, and in practices in the north of England.

"Flu can be an unpleasant disease, but usually passes on its own within a couple of weeks without complication. Patients who have the flu should drink lots of water to avoid dehydration; get plenty of rest; and control symptoms such as fever and aches with paracetamol or ibuprofen, where necessary. We would recommend that patients with flu stay at home until they're over the worst to reduce the risk of passing the virus onto people who may be more vulnerable to the illness, such as the elderly, people with long-term conditions, pregnant women and younger children.

"It is not too late to get a flu jab. This is the best protection we have against the flu and we urge all patients in at-risk groups to get vaccinated - and for parents of young children to arrange this for their children - as soon as possible."

The RSC included data from a nationally representative sample of more than 250 practices from across England with a combined patient population of more than 2.5 million in this week's report.

Further Information
This figure is calculated using registered patient numbers for England.
RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7494/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 53,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.