Almost 50 people were admitted to Sunderland Royal Hospital with the flu virus in the last week, it has been revealed.
Weekly figures have been released by NHS trusts across the North East, with hospital chiefs saying there has been a big rise in the number of flu cases over recent weeks.
It is really important that everyone who is eligible, including all frontline NHS staff, get the flu jab ASAP to protect themselves and othersNHS providers in the North East
City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust has revealed there were 49 confirmed inpatient cases over the last week.
People are being urged to get the flu jab in a bid to stop the virus spreading further.
A joint statement on behalf of all NHS providers in the North East said: “There is a lot of flu out in the community at the moment and over the past few weeks we have seen a significant rise in the number of people who are seriously affected by the virus and have required hospital admission. This includes some patients needing ventilation and help with their breathing.
“The flu vaccine is the best protection we have against the seasonal flu virus which can cause severe illness and even deaths for those who are most vulnerable. It is really important that everyone who is eligible, including all frontline NHS staff, get the flu jab ASAP to protect themselves and others.”
Over recent weeks, those suffering with flu-like symptoms have been advised to stay away from hospital if possible, unless their symptoms become severe.
The North East’s NHS providers have reiterated that advice.
The statement from the providers added: “For everyone else, although flu is a nasty virus it will get better without the need to attend hospital – if you need advice the pharmacist or 111 offer the best approach.
“Flu is highly infectious and we are urging people with symptoms to stay away from hospital to help ease the pressure on our busy teams and stop the virus spreading.
“Meanwhile, to help ensure that patients who really need emergency care receive the quickest possible treatment, members of the public should only dial 999 or attend emergency care for serious medical emergencies.”