Following the spread of a potentially deadly strain of flu across the country, the so called 'Aussie flu' has made its way to parts of Lancashire.
An interactive map which allows users to upload reports of 'Aussie flu' themselves, shows the areas with the worst outbreaks of the illness in the county and nationwide.
Updated every three minutes, the map shows all types of the flu bug, including the potentially deadly Aussie flu strain which has arrived in the UK.
The map indicates a gradient of no reports (blue) to ‘very high reports’ (red) of all types of flu as reported by users.
The data from the FluSurvey map is utilised by scientists at Public Health England and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
You can check how your area compares on the map here
The arrival of the 'Aussie Flu' strain to the region comes after Lancashire Teaching Hospitals posted a statement last week urging people to make the best use of available services during the winter.
Chief Executive of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Karen Partington, said: "“Like other NHS organisations across the country, we have seen an increase in respiratory conditions, more severe illness, and an increase in flu which means our hospitals are very busy."
“To plan appropriately for rising demand many hospitals carry out fewer scheduled operations at this time of year. In line with national recommendations we are currently reviewing the schedule of operations and outpatient appointments planned for January. We will contact patients directly as soon as possible if we need to reschedule any operations and appointments – if you don’t hear from us please come to hospital as planned.
“We apologise to every patient whose procedure or appointment will be affected, and recognise the concern and inconvenience this will cause. Please be assured we will be in touch in the coming weeks to reschedule your treatment or appointment as quickly as possible, and thank you for your patience and understanding in these challenging circumstances.
“Our staff have been working tirelessly in recent weeks and throughout the festive period to provide compassionate care for the continuously increasing number of patients who needed hospital services. On behalf of our board and patients I thank them for their continued commitment and heroic efforts.”
Public health officials have warned people who are eligible for a free flu vaccine to get it ‘without delay’.
People should recover from normal flu within a week or so, although some symptoms like a cough can last longer.
If you are still ill after seven days, it is a possible indication of a more serious sickness.