Flu infections have more than doubled in the past week, causing health bosses to step up their campaign to encourage older people to get a flu vaccine.
Age UK reports that according to the Royal College of GPs, cases of flu in England and Wales have risen from 32.8 per 100,000 people to 87.1 in just one week.
Swine flu is the most dominant strain this winter but other types are also in circulation, including type B.
Rates have almost tripled in the south over the course of one week, with the rate per 100,000 people rising from 15.7 to 55.5 in the North and rising in the cental region from 37.9 to 94.9.
Meanwhile, Dr Catherine Hood, scientific advisor to Mentholatum responsebeta anti-viral hand sanitizer, has advised older people to take extra measures to stave off the virus this winter.
"Good hand hygiene - keeping hands washed and clean - can help eliminate much of this threat, but access to soap and water throughout the day is sometimes impossible or impractical," she says.