The spread of Australian flu in the UK has been so rapid that only two areas of the country are now free from the deadly bug, data shows.

Ilford and the City of London are the only places in the UK with no reported cases of Aussie flu, according to the online FluSurvey map.

Dorchester, Brecon and Telford were the latest areas to report cases.

The NHS has been struggling to cope with one of Britain’s worst flu seasons for 50 years.

The FluSurvey map relies on reported data from patients themselves, meaning the number of sufferers could be even greater.

Five towns in the UK were hit by the virulent H3N2 strain of Influenza A in just 24 hours at the weekend, with dozens of new cases being reported.

Public Health England said at least 1,649 people were affected in England and Wales in the space of just one week over Christmas.

One person in Ireland is known to have died from Aussie flu.

In the UK, the NHS has already cancelled 55,000 non-essential operations in January in a bid to cope with bed and staff shortages this winter.

At least 112 people were admitted to non-emergency hospital wards in the past week (an increase from just five in the previous seven-day period) – and 17 people have been admitted to intensive care with the bug.

In Northern Ireland, churches banned the sign of peace handshake on Sunday in a bid to cut down the spread of the flu.

According to the FluSurvey map, Plymouth has had 25 new cases in the past three weeks.

In England and Wales, flu causes an average of 8,000 deaths a year.


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