A top Warwickshire doctor says experts who predicted a so-called Aussie Flu epidemic in the UK this winter were wide of the mark.
Dr Jeff Foster said the expected outbreak of the virulent strain has not materialised as the flu jab offered by GPs and widely available for sale in chemists provides an effective vaccine against the virus.
Dr Foster, of TFJ Private GP Services, said the key message behind the headlines was ensuring the most at-risk people get their flu jabs, as they can often be the patients who are least likely to get the vaccination.
At-risk groups include the elderly, expectant mothers and people with an underlying health condition.
Dr Foster said: “There was a vast amount of media hype before Christmas about Aussie Flu.
“We were warned that it was something we were going to be blitzed with but it simply hasn’t come true.
“The reason is because it is so preventable. The most recent flu jab offered on the NHS and available to buy from your chemist vaccinates you against Aussie Flu.
“You can get the jab at your doctor’s surgery or buy one at the local supermarket and then vaccinate yourself and it seems a lot of people have done just that.
“In fact, the biggest issue with flu is that every year not enough of the high-risk patients get their flu jab and so leave themselves very vulnerable.
“That’s what we need to go to the media to highlight instead of worrying people unnecessarily with ill-founded scare stories.”
If you want to discuss any aspect of your health with a GP, you can make an appointment by calling TFJ Private GP Services on 01926 436303,