Cases of flu, colds and chest infections have been on the rise over the Christmas period in the UK, it has been reported.
From 21 December 2007 to 1 January 2008, 27,000 people contacted NHS Direct, the patient helpline, and reported flu-like symptoms.
To check symptoms of flu, colds and chest infections, another 20,000 people consulted the NHS Direct website.
Since January 1, tens of thousands more are believed to have visited GPs.
One in 10 callers reported flu symptoms, more than twice as many as those concerning vomiting and pains likely to indicate the norovirus stomach bug.
Mike Sadler, NHS Direct's chief operating officer, said that both flu and norovirus likely to spread more quickly now that people were back at work and school after the holidays.
He also said that many callers reporting 'flu-like symptoms' were unlikely to have full-blown flu.