COVID cases have hit close to 1.4million, new data has revealed.
It comes as cases of flu have also spiked across the country this week.
It’s the fourth week in a row that infections have climbed, with over half of the English regions having witnessed an increase.
In England, around one in 45 people have the bug, while in Scotland that’s one in 40.
In Wales, one in 55 people are infected, with one in 50 also having the virus in Northern Ireland.
Sarah Crofts, Deputy Director for Covid-19 Infection Survey Analysis, said: “Today’s data show that COVID-19 infections have risen for the fourth consecutive week in England, with cases also continuing to rise in Scotland.
“Over half of English regions saw an increase, while it’s a mixed picture for different ages. Infections have increased among most adults under 70, while secondary school age children experienced a decrease in infections.
“We will continue to monitor the data closely over the coming weeks.”
Amid the spread of both Covid and the flu, Brits have been urged to give themselves the gift of jabs this Christmas.
Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency Dr Jenny Harries said getting both the flu vaccine and the Covid booster is the best way to avoid getting seriously ill this winter.
PROTECT THE NHS
Dr Harries added that by getting vaccinated, it will also help protect the NHS, which is currently under ‘severe pressures’ from Covid, flu and Strep A.
“We’re seeing high rates of over 75s and children under 5 being admitted to hospital for flu so no-one should delay coming forward. For most children the flu vaccine is a quick and easy nasal spray available through their GP surgery.
“I would encourage everyone to help keep services and themselves running healthily as we enter 2023 by putting the flu vaccine and Covid booster on their Christmas to do list,” Dr Harries added.
Appointments for the Covid booster can now be booked through the NHS app, or on the NHS Booking System.
People can also just turn up at one of the many walk-in centres around the country.
The Government said this is a great way for family, friends, and neighbours to take advantage of a festive walk and get eligible people jabbed.
Those eligible for the flu jab will have already been contacted by their GP.
The most recent data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) found that flu rates remain the highest in children aged five to 14-years-old.
Parents have also been urged to protect their children from the bug.
Another five Strep A deaths in children were recorded yesterday, taking the total to 24, with there being 94 deaths in total across all age groups since September.
Guidance states that Strep A infections spread by close contact with an infected person.
The weekly report from the UKHSA states that positivity rates of flu are at 40.1 per cent in kids aged five to 14.
Hospital admission rates and intensive care admission rates have increased further in the last week.
Figures show that the main increase in admissions has been seen in adults over the age of 85.
The highest number of outbreaks continue to be in care homes, with 54 influenza confirmed outbreaks occurring in England in the week ending December 18.
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