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Urgent warning to parents as ‘triple whammy’ of nasty bugs strike and snow grips UK

PARENTS have been warned that a ‘triple whammy’ of nasty bugs could infect their kids.

Figures show that the number of children coming down with viruses has increased in recent weeks.

Experts have warned that cases of three viruses could cause issues as we head into the festive season

Overnight, up to four inches of snow also fell across some parts of the UK, with experts warning the cold weather could prove fatal for people with respiratory conditions such as asthma.

Medics also warned people to ‘heat their homes sufficiently‘ due to health risks caused by the cold conditions.

Data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) found that cases of flu and Covid are on the up.

And parents have also warned of the dangers around respiratory syntactical virus (RSV) which can surge during the winter months.

On top of this, many parents are currently concerned about rising Strep A cases across the country, which have claimed the lives of 16 children.

In the run up to Christmas last year, Brits were plagued with Omicron, as it spread rapidly across the country.

However, millions have now been jabbed to protect them against the bug, with the strain also having been proven to be milder than those that came before it.

Speaking to The Sun, Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist of the ZOE Health Study said this year, it’s more than just Covid that could cause issues.

“It’s a combination of the three viruses that’s the problem – all are on the rise right now.

“If people or children feel sick, if they can, I’d encourage them to stay at home and try to avoid passing things on.

“If someone has a very ill child, check their symptoms on the NHS website and contact a doctor if you are worried,” he said.

UKHSA data found that hospital and intensive care admissions from flu have increased in the last week.

The highest positivity rate has been seen in those aged 15-44, with the under fives and those aged 75-84 being the highest group of hospital admissions.

Vaccine uptake in kids aged two and three is below the last two years, the figures show.

Parents have been urged to take up the offer of the flu nasal spray vaccine at school sessions or in community catch-up clinics.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also revealed on Friday that Covid cases had increased for the second week in a row.

Over 1.1million Brits are now infected, up from 1.03million last week.

Infections are up across EnglandWalesScotland and Northern Ireland, with experts warning that the picture is ‘uncertain’.

Michelle Bowen, Head of Health Surveillance Dissemination and Strategy at the ONS said: “Infections have continued to increase across England, increased in Northern Ireland for the first time in a month and the trend in all other UK countries is now uncertain.

“Across English regions and ages, it is a mixed picture of uncertainty and increases in infection rates, and we will continue to monitor the data carefully over the winter months.”

It’s an increase of eight per cent on last week, with cases also climbing in kids in year 7, the data up to November 26 states.

Figures show that there has also been an increase in those in year 12-24 years-old and in those aged 35-49.

Around one in 60 people in England have the bug, one in 70 in Wales, one in 50 in Northern Ireland and one in 60 in Scotland.

The report stated: “Since the end of June 2022, most Covid-19 infections in the UK have been Omicron variant BA.5. A BA.5 sub-lineage, BQ.1, has been increasing considerably in recent weeks.”

But experts said the data may have been affected by postal strikes, meaning all tests may not have been counted, adding to uncertainty when it comes to the true level of infection.

And, while data from the UKHSA says cases of RSV have decreased in the last week, experts have warned that parents still need to be aware of the bug.

Dr Conall Watson, Consultant Epidemiologist at the UK Health Security Agency, said: “Unfortunately, in the run up to the festive season, it is also the season for viruses like RSV, which can be more severe for children under 2 – and sometimes particularly nasty for babies and those born prematurely.

“Everyone should try and avoid spreading respiratory viruses to young children – use tissues, wash hands and avoid visiting babies if you are unwell.

“If you are concerned your child has cold symptoms with unusual breathing or has trouble feeding, please contact your GP or NHS 111. If your child seems seriously ill, trust your judgement and get emergency care.”

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