The incidence of winter flu in the UK is reported to be on the decline. The current winter figures are only at between 10 to 15 for every 100,000 people. This figure has been on the decline since 2001. The threat from the avian flu however remains. The chief reason for this is reported to be the immunity that the people in the country have gained to the H3N2 virus, in spite of the mutations it goes through every year.
Most of the infected in the current winter are among new born babies, and older people who are witnessing a decline in their immune systems. The people also went in for vaccination against the avian influenza which served to further reduce the incidences of flu in the country. The common flu is however capable of undergoing a major mutation once in a generation resulting in a pandemic.
The H5N1 strain that has claimed three lives in Turkey may start the next pandemic in Europe. A new strain can easily come into existence in Asian countries where human beings live in close proximity with their birds. Until date there has been no record of the transmission having taken place between one person to another. The country has witnessed only two flu pandemics since the 1930s. The H5N1 which has already claimed three lives in Turkey is capable of killing as many as 50,000 people in the UK if it mutates into a form which can be transferred from one person to another.