Flu hits Tower Hamlets early

Flu rates in Tower Hamlets are currently higher than anywhere else in England and medics are urging the elderly to get vaccinated.

The latest figures from the Health Protection Agency show the borough last week recorded the highest number of people going to their GP with flu-like symptoms, suggesting that the seasonal virus has hit the area badly.

Neighbouring Newham and Hackney also recorded patient numbers above the London average.

Joint director of public health in Tower Hamlets, Dr Somen Banerjee warned that the illness “is not to be underestimated”.

Dr Somen added: “It looks like the flu season has come early to Tower Hamlets this year, but it’s not too late to protect yourself by having the flu jab.

“Those at greater risk of developing complications should protect themselves as early as possible.”

People over 65 and anyone working regularly with older or disabled people are eligible for a free jab.

Most Read

Those with long-term conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, multiple sclerosis, chronic kidney and liver disease are more likely to get serious complications if they contract the flu and can end up in hospital.

Pregnant women are also strongly advised to get vaccinated.

Anyone who had the vaccine last winter will need a new jab as the viruses mutate each year.