Sharp rise in winter flu deaths proves need to have the jab
Respiratory diseases, including flu, claimed thousands of lives of elderly people last winter as ‘excess winter deaths’ reached the second highest level in eight years, new figures show.
There were more than 34,000 ‘excess deaths’ across England and Wales over the last winter period, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The ONS said the rise was probably ‘due to the predominant strain of flu prevalent during the 2016 to 2017 winter, which had greater impact on the elderly than the young’.
The figures come only a week after Professor Jim McManus, an adviser on health to the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, urged Universe readers to ensure that they get their flu jab, if they are eligible for one.
The ONS found that last winter reached second highest number of excess winter deaths since 2008/09 when there were 36,450 additional deaths observed over the winter period.
The highest number of winter deaths since then was seen in 2014/15 when the winter death toll reached almost 44,000 with the peak being attributed to a less effective flu vaccination.
Last winter, 12,500 excess deaths were caused by respiratory diseases. There were 61.9 per cent more respiratory deaths in the winter months of 2016/17 compared with non-winter months.Tags: Flu, flu jab, Jim McManus, Prof. Jim McManus, Prof. McManus, Professor Jim McManus, Professor McManus