UK faces a 'double-whammy' of 'Aussie flu' cases as kids head back to school and experts warn of an 'EXCEPTIONAL' outbreak as travellers return from flu-hit France

Mail Online | 8/31/2017 | Stephen Matthews For Mailonline
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The UK faces a 'double-whammy' of the dreaded 'Aussie flu' cases as kids head to school and swarms of travellers return from flu-hit France.

The European country has been rocked by an 'exceptional' outbreak, with nearly 12,000 people having been left hospitalised and more than 30 dead.

Figures - UK - Way - Scientists - Flu

Figures show the UK is heading the same way, with scientists concerned the flu causing havoc on the over-stretched NHS is 'unpredictable'.

And flocks of children heading back to school this week after enjoying the festive break could lead to a 'danger period', virologists fear.

Fears - Strain - Flu - Number - Cases

Most of the fears stem from an aggressive strain, dubbed 'Aussie flu', which caused nearly triple the usual number of cases in Australia during its winter.

The H3N2 subtype, a strain of influenza A responsible for the surge Down Under, is one of many attacking Britain at the same time, Government data shows.

Subtype - A - B - Majority - Cases

Usually, just one subtype, either influenza A or B, is responsible for the majority of cases. It spreads much easier in the cold weather.

H3N2, which some fear could prove as deadly to humanity as the Hong Kong flu in 1968 when one million people died, is behind most of the cases in France.

Professor - John - Oxford - Virologist - Queen

Professor John Oxford, a virologist at Queen Mary University, London, told The Sun: 'Now is the danger period. Kids are very good at picking up infections then passing them on at home.

'With large numbers travelling backwards and forwards from France we may see more cases. It could well be a double-whammy.'

Ministry - Health - France - Flu - Week

The Ministry of Health in France issued an alert about flu earlier this week, warning that the outbreak has still yet to reach its peak.

It read: 'The influenza epidemic is of an exceptional magnitude, by the number of cases, which risks exceeding those of the last two years.'

Rocketing - Cases - Marisol - Touraine - Country

The rocketing cases prompted Marisol Touraine, the country's health...
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