The number of flu-like cases decreased slightly in the third week of January
The latest weekly report from Health Protection Scotland showed that 102 people per 100,000 of the Scottish population were reported as having flu-like illness in the week ending January 21, down from 114 per 100,000 the previous week.
Early analysis suggests that the peak in GP consultations has now passed, however monitoring is still ongoing to assess the impact of flu across all healthcare systems.
Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “It is encouraging to see the number of reported flu-like illnesses fall. While we could yet see a rise this winter, the data suggests we have now passed the peak of GP consultations.
“Almost 20,000 more vaccines have been administered compared to the same time last year, but it’s still not too late to get vaccinated and I’d encourage anyone who is eligible to get vaccinated- it is the best way to protect yourself from the most common strain of the virus.
“The GP consultation rate for flu-like illness is still around five times higher than same week last year and the Scottish Government will continue to monitor the situation, there are still a few months of winter left so we will continue to work with health boards to ensure they are coping with the challenges of flu this winter.”
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Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Gregor Smith added: “Flu-like illnesses will continue to impact on the health and social care services for some time, but the recent decrease does offer hope that we are over the worst. We will, however, continue to monitor trends for some weeks yet.”
“The predominant strain is covered by this year’s flu vaccine and I’d continue to encourage anyone in an eligible group to take up the free jab as it is the best defense against flu.”
A total of 1469626 vaccinations were administered this winter up to the 21st January 2018. This compares with 1449870 for the same period in 2016/17