NHS bracing for the ‘worst flu season in history’ amid fears of a virulent strain that caused havoc in Australia

Hospitals and GP surgeries are bracing themselves for a severe flu outbreak, the head of the NHS has warned.

Simon Stevens said that the virus had already caused huge problems in Australia with some A&E units having ‘standing room only’.

The strain of flu which is thought to be heading our way – the h3n2 strain – has been particularly severe in the elderly and children.

There are also concerns that the vaccine will prove to be ineffective as it will not match this strain.

Australia – whose winter occurs during our summer – has just experienced one of its worst flu outbreaks on record with more than 100,000 cases, two and a half times the normal number.

Hospitals have been overwhelmed and ambulance services in some areas have been told to only attend the most urgent cases.

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