Survey claims North-East has most cases of flu-like illness

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Health & Education Editor

A NEW online flu survey says the North-East has the highest levels of flu-like illness in England.

Dr Alma Adler, research fellow at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who is running the UK Flusurvey project, said: "The data are very preliminary and flu levels are still very low but overall the results suggest that the English region most affected by flu is the North-East with 19,200 per 100,000.

"We now need more people to sign up and let us know how they are feeling so we can study these figures in greater depth and increase our understanding of seasonal flu.

"It is also important to point out that it's not too late for those in "at-risk" groups to get vaccinated."

More than 4,000 people have signed up to the online health monitoring project since it launched a month ago but the researchers working on the project are appealing for more participants, particularly from the North-East where sign-up rates are the lowest in England.

The online questionnaire at flusurvey.org.uk allows people to report their symptoms directly and the data is supplied to the Health Protection Agency's national surveillance programmes.

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