Almost 200 people were admitted into intensive care during the second week of January, the latest report from Public Health England (PHE) revealed.
Aussie flu – the H3N2 strain of the influenza virus – was responsible for 20 of those patients.
In total, 598 people were hospitalised with flu during the second week of January, and almost 50 of the hospital patients were infected with Aussie flu.
But influenza isn’t just sweeping the UK – the report published by PHE also revealed other countries in the world to see an increase in cases in the last week.
Countries in the world to see increased reports of influenza in the last week
Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Ireland and Romania.
A map produced by FluView has revealed the states worst hit by the virus.
According to the map, flu is widespread across mainland USA as well as Alaska.
Hawaii and Guam have had regional activity and the District of Columbia local activity.
The US Virgin Islands has also reported sporadic cases of the virus amongst its population.
As of the week ending January 6, Puerto Rico is yet to have any cases of influenza reported.
The PHE report said: “In North America, overall influenza activity continued to increase in the region, with detections of prominently influenza A (H3N2) viruses.”
The PHE report stated: “Overall, influenza activity is high and continues to increase across Canada.”
Increasing influenza activity was reported in Israel and Jordan – predominately influenza B and A (H1N1).
Northern and Southern China and the Republic of Korea has shown increased influenza activity, but with detections of Japanese flu being dominant.
South East Asia
There have been low levels of influenza activity reported here, but in southern Asia, increased activity has been reported in Iran.
Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.
Other areas hit by the influenza virus
The PHE report said: “In Western Africa, influenza activity continued at lower levels compared to previous weeks. In Eastern Africa sporadic influenza detections were reported in Madagascar, Mozambique and the United Republic of Tanzania.
“In the Caribbean, Central American countries and in the tropical countries of South America. low to now influenza activity was reported.”
With regards to the flu outbreak in the UK, PHE’s Medical Director, Professor Paul Cosford, said: “Our data continues to show that more people are visiting GPs with flu symptoms, and we are seeing more people admitted to hospital with flu.
“In terms of hospital admission, this is the most significant flu season since the winter of 2010/11 and the preceding pandemic year of 2009, although it is not an epidemic.
“We are currently seeing a mix of flu types, including the A[H3N2] strain that circulated last winter in the UK, and then in Australia.
“The A[H3N2] strain particularly affects older, more vulnerable age groups.
“The best form of protection against flu is to get the vaccine if you are eligible and to practice good respiratory and hand hygiene.”
Do you have the symptoms of Aussie flu?