Schools given new guidance to keep kids safe as flu cases grow days before new term begins | The Sun
3rd January 2023

NEW guidance has been issued to keep kids safe ahead of the start of the new term.

Parents are being asked to keep their kids out of school if they are ill or have a high temperature as flu and Covid infections soar.

Chief medical advisor Professor Susan Hopkins said efforts need to be made to stop bugs from spreading.

She said: “It's important to minimise the spread of infection in schools and other education and childcare settings as much as possible.”

The UKHSA also urged parents to ensure eligible children get a flu vaccine.

Professor Hopkins said: “Flu vaccination is still available for all eligible groups and is the best protection against the virus. 

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“We have seen good uptake in older age groups but vaccination among young children remains low. 

“Flu can be very unpleasant and in some cases can lead to more serious illness. 

“Getting your child vaccinated protects them and others they come into contact with, and it's still not too late.”

Parents are asked to be on the lookout for winter illnesses as high levels of sickness are seen across the UK.

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Medics have warned that these levels are only going to continue to increase, along with high numbers of scarlet fever, which is caused by Group A streptococcus, also being reported.

There have been at least 30 child deaths from invasive Strep A since September.

Data from the NHS shows that thousands of beds are occupied by flu patients.

Brits are being urged to stay home or wear face masks while out and about.

The new advice is a bid to help ease pressure on the hard-pressed NHS system due to high rates of sickness.

The UK Health Security Agency say this will help minimise the spread of Covid, flu and scarlet fever.

It comes after a top doctor warned up to 500 people could be dying every week due to NHS delays caused by the winter flu crisis.

More than a dozen ambulance services and NHS Trusts have triggered critical incidents in recent days.

Dr Adrian Boyle, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: “We went into this December with the worst-ever performance against our target and the highest-ever occupancy levels in hospital.

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“We don’t know about the waiting time figures because they don’t come out for a couple of weeks — I’d be amazed if they’re not the worst ever that we’ve seen.

“We think somewhere between 300 and 500 people are dying as a consequence of delays and problems with urgent and emergency care each week.”

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