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January, 16 2019

Flu outbreak in the UK - what you need to know


Jenny @JdeV Preston store

Figures suggest that in the past week there has been a rapid increase in the number of people with flu symptoms. The north of England and Scotland seem to be the most affected areas, though the number of cases in Wales and Northern Ireland are not far behind. Here I take a closer look at these figures and explain why Echinacea can both prevent and treat flu symptoms at this time.  

 

What do the figures say?

In the winter months we all expect a bout of cold or flu – in the same way that daffodils are a sign of spring and falling leaves are a sign of autumn, unfortunately sniffles and sneezes are a clear indicator that the cold weather is upon us. In light of this you may be wondering why there’s so much fuss about a ‘flu outbreak’. Well, the significance this time around is just how many people are suffering from flu. 

Figures from Public Health England show for example, that cases have increased by 85% in just one week which amounts to a low epidemic.1 For Scotland the increase is a massive 139%, whilst Northern Ireland and Wales fair slightly better at 50% and 55%. Together this adds up to nearly two million people throughout the UK with flu symptoms.

This image produced by the Daily Mail gives a good indication of the areas most affected by flu in England. The north has the most cases recorded by GPs whilst in the south numbers are lower. 

Dealing with colds and flu

If you want to stear clear of any flu viruses in the air at the moment or, indeed, if you are trying to fend off the symptoms you’ve already succumbed to, then it is time to call on Echinacea.

A.Vogel's Echinaforce Echinacea Drops are made from organic and freshly harvested Echinacea as research shows this is more effective than dried extract.3 This supports the immune system and in doing so helps to prevent symptoms of the common cold and flu in both adults and children over the age of 12. 

If you are already suffering from cold and flu symptoms however, then you may benefit more from the Echinaforce Hot Drink. This is made with fresh Echinacea and Black Elderberry which together soothe symptoms such as a sore throat, headaches and muscle aches. 

Echinacea has these effects on cold and flu symptoms as the roots are strongly anti-inflammatory whilst the aerial part is antiviral. Therefore, in producing their Echinacea products, A.Vogel uses all parts of the plant to maximise the end product’s effectiveness. 

Black elderberry meanwhile, not only gives the drink a fruity taste, but also provides antioxidants in the form of flavonoids which support the health of the respiratory tract. 

Research shows that the Echinaforce Hot Drink is even more effective in treating the influenza virus than some conventional flu medicines. As well as this, the same research showed there were fewer side effects associated with taking the hot drink so it is definitely the go-to product for a healthier winter!

The chart below is from this research - it shows more clearly the effect that the Echinaforce Hot Drink has on influenza symptoms.

What causes a flu outbreak in winter?

There are many, many things that can contribute to a flu outbreak in winter. At this time viruses are able to live longer indoors because of the humidity here. Are you guilty of turning the central heating up to max in winter? If so, you may be unknowingly producing optimum conditions for a virus meaning any visitors leave with an unwanted package...

Also, if that virus lingers in somewhere like a school or an office it can lead to more people becoming infected. After all, whilst it is in the air a virus is easy to inhale and can even land on clothing thus spreading further. 

In winter we also spend more time together indoors and in close proximity – trips the cinema or a cosy night in are much more appealing than walks outside when it is cold and wet. Unfortunately, once again this makes it much easier for viruses to spread.5

When should I see my doctor?

An outbreak of flu can be particularly serious for the elderly, pregnant women and for those already suffering from an illness so if you fit into any of these categories please do visit your doctor. Even if you have no symptoms, your doctor may be able to give you a flu jag to protect against the flu virus.

References

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/768646/Weekly_national_influenza_report_week_1_2019.pdf

2 https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6578207/Flu-hits-Britain-Official-figures-reveal-cases-influenza-DOUBLED-space-week.html  

3 Tobler M et al. Characteristics of whole fresh plant extracts. Schweiz. Zschr. GanzheitsMedzin 1994; 6 (5): 257-266

4 Raus K et al. Effect of an Echinacea-Based Hot Drink versus Oseltamivir in Influenza Treatment: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Double-Dummy, Nulticentre, Non-inferiority Clinical Trial. Curr Ther Res 2015; 77:66-72

5 https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/what-causes-flu-viruses#1