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Health Protection Agency urges at-risk groups to get flu vaccinations

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The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has urged people to be vigilant for symptoms of flu and get vaccinations if necessary after a rise in activity of the disease.

Anyone over the age of 65 or in any other ‘at risk’ group should ensure they receive flu vaccinations, the agency said.

Health care workers who come into direct contact with patients should see their occupational health department for a flu vaccination.

Anyone who gets flu is advised to stay at home, rest, drink plenty of fluids and use over-the-counter remedies.

Dr Richard Pebody, of the HPA, said: ‘For the last few years, we have seen very low levels of flu in the UK. Flu has started a bit earlier than normal this year and we have already seen a lot of flu activity.

‘At this early stage, however, it is impossible to predict what levels we will see over the next few weeks.’

Normal seasonal activity is defined as 30-200 consultations per 100,000 population. The rate is currently 39.5 per 100,000, well below the epidemic threshold of more than 200 consultations per week per 100,000 population.

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