Scary Warning Issued As 'Japanese' Flu Hits Manchester
Here's what we know so far
Another flu strain known as 'Japanese' Flu has hit parts of Greater Manchester this week - the latest of a series of strains to hit the UK in recent weeks.
Japanese or 'Yamagata' flu - a less severe strain of the H3N2 ‘Australian’ strain - is commonly spread by children, and the NHS has warning parents to get their kids vaccinated to prevent the illness from spreading.
Dr Nikolaos Papadopoulos, a medic at Manchester Children’s Hospital, says children are 'super spreaders' of flu, adding: "But evidence has proved that having children vaccinated against flu with a simple nasal spray is the key to stopping the spread of the virus further and faster.
"I would urge parents to take their little ones to have their flu vaccination. Why let young children suffer and even allow the risk for serious complications, when one simple spray in the nose can painlessly protect them."
Free flu vaccinations offered to children up to the age of nine protects against both the Aussie and Japanese flu strains. The MEN reports that this will be available for people up to the age of 18 in the near future.
Yamagata flu is part of the flu group influenza B and symptoms aren't as severe as Australian flu.
Irene Shepherd, a Practice Nurse in Oldham, said: "We, and GP surgeries across Greater Manchester, have plenty of vaccinations ready to go. It’s certainly never too late to protect your family or you from flu.
"I’d encourage all parents of young children to attend their local surgery and receive their flu vaccine as soon as possible. By protecting your children, and in turn your wider family and local community, we can all stay healthy and happy this winter."
You can find more information on flu vaccinations here.