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Paradigm Shift Intervention Monitoring
The flu outbreak gripping Britain is
set to become a "children's epidemic" as new figures show that the
number of under-fives being brought into doctors' surgeries with the
illness doubled over the Christmas period.
With schools beginning to reopen this week after the Christmas and New Year break, experts believe the spread of the virus will escalate, taking the number of cases to epidemic level within the next week to 10 days.
Only 23% of healthy children aged under five who are eligible for free flu vaccinations have taken them.
Across England the highest incidence of flu is in the under-four age group – 184 cases per 100,000 babies and infants.
The above suggest a “children’s epidemic will begin the UK in the next 1-2 weeks, as children head back to school with H1N1 in circulation with a 23% vaccine uptake rate. The return to school will almost certainly send the rate of infection markedly higher, as children are crowded together on buses and in classrooms as the start of the traditional flu season begins in earnest.
The level in the under four group is near epidemic levels (which is 200 cases per 100,000), and the outbreak, which was concentrated in the midlands, begins to spread into larger cities to the south, including London.
Vaccine shortages for the at risk population have already been reported and Tamiflu resistance is starting to rise.
The poor pandemic preparedness will accelerate and expand the 2011 H1N1 pandemic fiasco.