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Flu cases fall to below baseline

The number of flu cases has now fallen dramatically, settling at a level normally seen outside of the winter flu season, experts reveal.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said that flu levels are now below baseline levels in England, Scotland and Wales.

During the last seven days the amount of GP consultations for flu has fallen to 24.1 per 100,000, from 40.7 per 100,000 the week before.

At the end of December the number of flu cases reached their peak level at 124.4 per 100,000 - the baseline for flu activity is 30 per 100,000 consultations.

Data also reveal that 395 people have died from flu in the UK since September, which is 57 higher than the previous week. Most of these newly recorded deaths have occurred during the past six weeks.

Flu type B has now taken over from swine flu as the dominant strain in circulation, while there are some sporadic cases of flu type A.

Professor John Watson, head of the respiratory diseases department at the HPA, said: "Our latest flu report shows that levels of flu activity are now below baseline levels in England, Wales and Scotland.

"However, our surveillance will continue and we will still be monitoring what is happening to both the levels of consultations for flu-like illness and testing viruses until the end of the season in May."

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