Dr Hilary warns of virus that is more of a risk than Covid this winter

Dr Hilary believes flu is 'more of a risk' than Covid this winter

While Covid is creeping back at a steady rate, driving up cases around the country, Dr Hilary Jones has warned the virus is not the real threat.

Speaking on ITV’s show Lorraine, the TV doctor shared his thoughts that another potentially deadly virus that will be “the real worry” this winter.

He said: “I think the flu is more of a risk [than Covid] this winter. 

“14,000 people died excess deaths last winter from flu, 10,000 children were hospitalised with flu.

“So flu, this winter, is the real worry.”

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Dr Hilary added that those eligible for a jab for both of these viruses should “get them done”.

The doctor’s warning comes as the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) published flu and COVID-19 surveillance report.

The update suggested a slight increase in flu cases, noting that some indicators show rates have remained stable.

However, the health bosses warned we can expect a further increase in both flu and Covid cases this winter.

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Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Public Health Programmes at UKHSA, said: “As we enter the colder months and people begin to mix more indoors, we can expect to see further increases in COVID-19 alongside the usual increases we see in other winter respiratory viruses like flu. 

“We are monitoring rates closely and reminding people that when you have respiratory symptoms you should avoid mixing with others, especially those more vulnerable.”

The health agency also urged people to come forward for their Covid and flu vaccinations to help limit the spread.

Dr Ramsay added: “Heading into winter, the flu vaccine offers the best protection against what can be a very severe illness for the more vulnerable, which includes pregnant women as well as two and three year olds who are all eligible for a free NHS vaccine. 

“Tragically every year we see far too many unvaccinated young children severely ill with flu being hospitalised.

“We strongly urge parents and all those eligible, for either COVID-19 and flu vaccines or both, to book today with the NHS or via their GP surgery as soon as possible.”

What are the symptoms of flu?

According to the NHS, the tell-tale signs can come on very quickly and include the following:

  • Sudden high temperature
  • Aching body
  • Feeling tired or exhausted
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea or tummy pain
  • Feeling sick and being sick.

However, Dr Roger Henderson, Leading GP and Olbas expert, previously told Express.co.uk that because of the similarity between the flu and Covid, the most reliable way of determining which one you have is through a Covid test.

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