Flu rate for Scotland falls for second straight week

Flu rates have fallen for the second straight week. Picture: TSPL
Flu rates have fallen for the second straight week. Picture: TSPL
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The number of patients attending doctors with flu symptoms has fallen for a second consecutive week.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said the statistics gave “further encouragement” that Scotland’s flu outbreak was past its peak.

Health Protection Scotland’s figures showed GP consultations for flu-like illnesses had fallen to 82 people per 100,000 of the population in the week ending 28 January.

This was down from 102 per 100,000 the previous week and 114 per 100,000 a fortnight ago.

Prior to that, the number of people visiting the doctor with flu symptoms had risen week-on-week since the final week in December.

The figure for the week ending 28 January remains higher than normal for the time of year and is more than quadruple the rate of the same period last year of 17 per 100,000.

Ms Robison said: “The GP consultation rate for patients with flu-like symptoms is still four times higher than the same period last year. However, it is welcome news that the overall rate has fallen for a second week and gives further encouragement that we have now passed the peak activity for the flu virus in Scotland.

“This trend is also reflected in our weekly A&E waiting-time stats, which have shown an improving picture over the past few weeks.

“It is still not too late to get vaccinated, however, and if you are in an eligible group it is the best way to protect yourself from the most common strain of the virus.”

Ms Robison said ministers would continue to monitor the situation and work with health boards to tackle flu.

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