The notorious 'Aussie Flu' has made its way into Thurrock and health leaders in the borough are urging people to get vaccinated.

Called H3N2, it is a deadly strain of flu which has been causing serious problems in Australia.

From figures recently released, and intelligence received, Thurrock CCG know that flu is spreading in the borough, particularly among children under 5 and over 65s.

Both of these groups are eligible for the free flu vaccine.

Councillor James Halden, responsible for Health and Education in Thurrock, said:“We now know that Australian flu is circulating in Thurrock.

"This is a particularly nasty strain of flu in Australia and more recently in southern Ireland.

"If you have received your flu jab then you are protected. If you have not, you might receive a call from your local GP surgery over the next few weeks if you are in an eligible group and should have the flu vaccine to protect your health.

"The flu vaccine is effective against the Australian flu but can take up to two weeks from vaccination to provide immunity. We are urging all people aged 65+ and those in at risk groups to get vaccinated.

"Parents of young children can contact their GP surgery for the nasal spray to protect children under 7 years old.

"The vaccine is very safe and the side effects are minimal. Young children are at particular risk because they are also least likely of the patient cohort to have had the flu vaccine.”

Mandy Ansell, Accountable Officer for Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We know that flu is spreading across Essex and Thurrock and we have been working with our GPs and public health team in Thurrock to provide vaccines to all who need them.

"Pharmacies are also able to provide vaccines.  People suffering with flu-like symptoms should catch coughs or sneezes in tissues and bin them immediately, wash their hands regularly with soap and warm water and frequently clean regularly used surfaces to stop the spread of flu.

"Avoid having unnecessary contact with other people if you or they have symptoms of flu. Contact your GP today or visit: for further information about who is eligible for the free flu jab.”