This site is intended for health professionals only

Number of cold and flu cases falls

In the past week cases of cold and flu have fallen across England, although experts believe they will go up again before the winter is over.

The latest figures from the Royal College of GPs show that the number of flu cases has fallen from 68.5 per 100,000 people to 41.3 in just one week.

Cases of the common cold have also dropped from 355.3 per 100,000 people to 184.7.

Although a spokeswoman for the College said it was "unlikely" that flu would hit a nine-year high as previously predicted, Professor Steve Field, chairman of the College, warned that people returning to work and school could easily spread flu and the vomiting bug norovirus.

"My prediction is that people are coming back to work or school and they are circulating influenza and transferring it to each other. We think cases of flu and norovirus will go up again," he said.

A Department of Health spokesman said: "There is always more demand on health services in winter and during the cold and flu season and this year is no exception."

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Royal College of General Practitioners