The number of seasonal flu deaths in the UK doubled to 112 last Thursday, up from 50 a week earlier.
Figures from the Health Protection Agency show that of the 112 deaths, 95 had the H1N1 flu strain that spread around the world in 2009 and 2010.
The majority of those who died were under 65 and nine cases involved children under the age of 14. There have also been six deaths of children under five.
The extra 62 deaths occurred in December.
“Flu is still circulating in the community and the message remains that those people in an at-risk group should have their seasonal flu vaccine as soon as possible as this is the best way to protect themselves from flu this winter,” said John Watson, head of the agency’s respiratory diseases department.
Watson said that people should stop the virus spreading by covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough and sneeze, dispose of the tissue as soon as possible and clean your hands as soon as you can.
The influx in flu cases resulted in shortages of seasonal vaccines, but Britain’s Chief Medical Officer Sally Davies told doctors to use left over vaccines from last season if they ran out.