Flu hotspot map reveals which London postcodes are worst affected as rates nearly double in capital

An alarming “red zone” map has revealed which London postcodes are hotspots for flu after rates of the illness nearly doubled in the capital over Christmas.

The number of people rushed into intensive care after catching flu shot up by 65 per cent across the UK last week, Public Health England said as it told Brits it is “not too late” to get vaccinated.

Interactive online map Flusurvey, which updates every three minutes, monitors how the virus is spreading by asking members of the public to register and report their symptoms.

The tool, which provides data to PHE, highlights areas red where cases have clustered whereas cooler blue zones show areas with fewer outbreaks.

Swathes of the UK are in red on the map, meaning a high rate of reported influenza-like illnesses. (Flusurvey.org)

On Friday evening, east London appeared to be one of the worst-hit areas for cases of seasonal flu, with postcode EC marked bright red on the map along with Romford and Dartford.

Kingston upon Thames, Croydon and Sutton postcode areas were also a bright swathe of red, signalling a high rate of reports, while Harrow and Southall zones in north-west London were also badly affected.

Among the healthiest areas of the capital so far, according to the map, are north London and Twickenham as well as the central London WC postcode area. 

Much of London is still blue or purple. (Flusurvey.org)

Flusurvey records an individual outbreak of an influenza-like illness, or ILI, when a person reports they have met a certain set of symptoms.

A map of Britain from just over a week ago shows much of the UK marked as blue.

January 4: Over a week ago, much of the UK was still blue on the map. (Flusurvey.org)

On Thursday, Public Health England revealed GPs had recorded a 78 per cent hike in seasonal flu cases in the first week of January while the number of patients admitted into hospital because of the illness had doubled.

A total of 85 people in the UK have now died from the flu since the start of winter, with 27 of those deaths in the past week.

Victims included 18-year-old Bethany Walker who died after developing pneumonia. She was airlifted to hospital from her home in the Highlands but could not be saved.

In London, influenza B is more common than influenza A, which includes the strain A(H3N2) dubbed “Australian flu”.

Many of the B flu cases are thought to be a strain of Japanese flu called Yamagata, which is thought to have less severe symptoms than the Australian flu.

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