Town escapes worst of annual flu outbreak

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the dreaded winter flu that affects thousands of people every year is rife in the North-east at the moment, but the Peterhead community does not appear to be experiencing the worst of it.

With the festive season underway, the number of people suffering from flu and viral infections is on the increase in the Aberdeen area, but NHS Grampian have confirmed that Peterhead Community Hospital is “no busier than expected”, with no reported rise in repiratory infections.

However, they have reported a rise in patient numbers at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary over the past week and an increase in people being admitted to the hospital with upper respiratory tract infections or viral illnesses.

A spokesman for NHS Grampian told the Buchan Observer that they had noted a “steady increase” in patients with flu and viruses being admitted to the Aberdeen hospital.

He said: “ARI has been busy over the last 24 hours, as Influenza is now circulating in our community.

“These colds and flu like illnesses may be caused by up to eight different viruses this winter but we anticipate that Influenza A H1N1 will be the most commonly reported virus this year.”

He added: “Last year, because H1N1 was a new virus the UK adopted a very precautionary approach to how we managed people with influenza and their contacts. This year we are managing influenza cases as we would do every winter and GPs have received advice on this from the Chief Medical Officer.”

Health Protection Scotland, as well as NHS Grampian, have confirmed that it will continue to co-ordinate national surveillance across Scotland and report on a weekly basis regarding flu outbreaks.

Meanwhile, for the majority of healthy people who get seasonal flu this will be a mild but unpleasant illness and they are advised to go home, rest and drink lots of fluids. They are also being urged not to go to school or work with flu-like symptoms.

Some individuals will be at higher risk of serious complications and it is important that people who are eligible for vaccination, including pregnant women, people over 65 and those with certain medical conditions, get vaccinated. For more information on flu contact NHS 24 or their local GP.