FLU cases are exploding and hospital cases have doubled in a fortnight.
1000’s of Brits face Christmas on their sickbed or perhaps a hospital ward with the bug.
The winter virus is surging for the first time in three years after it was squashed by Covid restrictions.
Hospital wards in England now have 2,515 contaminated sufferers, together with 186 in intensive care.
It’s greater than double the 1,218 sufferers two weeks in the past, on December 8, and a 70 per cent enhance in every week.
By comparability, Covid sufferers are taking over 8,643 beds and 174 in ICU.
However coronavirus is rising at a slower price, with cases rising by 57 per cent in a fortnight in contrast to 106 per cent for flu.
The UK is at the moment blighted by widespread bugs that haven’t circulated for years due to lockdowns.
Scarlet fever cases in youngsters, attributable to the Strep A micro organism, are by way of the roof.
And specialists have warned of a flu-like “tremendous chilly” that thousands and thousands are struggling to shake.
Pressure from the winter virus “twindemic” is clogging up hospitals, including to ambulance and A&E delays.
Waits had been already at document highs even earlier than winter pressures and strike motion ramped up.
Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, stated: “As effectively as the impression of commercial motion, it’s clear that the NHS is going through huge pressure forward of Christmas with the variety of flu cases in hospital and in intensive care rising week-on-week.
“That is on high of serious will increase in employees illness charges and near-record demand for companies like 111.
“With extra industrial motion scheduled for subsequent week, there can be disruption however we urge the public to proceed to use companies correctly.”
Hospital backlogs imply ambulance delays continued to worsen final week – earlier than the strikes.
One in 4 crews now spend greater than an hour ready to hand their affected person over to A&E employees to allow them to get again on the highway.
And 4 in 10 take half an hour or extra – the goal is for all ambulances to offload inside quarter-hour.
NHS bosses worry demand and delays will worsen over the Christmas interval due to a drop in 999 calls throughout the ambulance strike.
Saffron Cordery, chief of NHS Suppliers, stated the subsequent few days can be “difficult”.
She added: “I feel emergency departments, significantly, are going to really feel the pressure in these areas the place there have been strikes.
“For ambulance companies that was in each a part of the nation aside from the East of England.”