People told to stay home from work as 'worst lurgy ever' spreads

By Max Channon & Kate Lally

People showing symptoms of illness have been told to stay home from work by the UK's health chief.

It comes as a nasty cold, dubbed "the worst lurgy ever" spreads across Merseyside.

The UK's Health Security Agency chief, Dr Jenny Harries, has urged people not to "grin and bear illness" and said we "should be worried about flu" - Wales Online reports.

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Dozens of people living in Sefton reported feeling unwell last week, prompting people living in other parts of Merseyside to share their experiences.

During the pandemic, common colds and flu were virtually non-existent.

But now that restrictions have been lifted, bugs are on the increase.

ECHO readers from across the region say they have been "wiped out" by the bug.

Symptoms such as a "sandpaper" throat, chesty cough and sore ribs have been reported.

Dr Harries told Times Radio: “I think, particularly as we approach the flu season for example, whereas people traditionally in the UK have sort of grin and borne their infectious disease and then gone into work and spread it around, I’m hoping that, as we go through winter, people when they are symptomatic will generally recognise that and stay away and be supported to do so.”

Asked if the public could have some confidence there would not be a lockdown this winter, the UK Health Security Agency chief executive told Times Radio: “You can never say 100%.

“But I would say that while the Delta variant dominates we know that our vaccines are effective, and I think it’s highly unlikely.

“You’ll be aware there is a plan B from Government which is held there in check so that all planning is in place.

“But if we look internationally across the world actually wherever we’re seeing new variants at the moment, Delta is predominating. We’re still keeping an eye on a couple of them.

“So I think it’s looking positive, but I would never say 100%.”

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