PUBLIC health experts have urged those most at risk of 'flu to get their free vaccination after evidence shows that influenza is circulating in the North West.

Dr Will Welfare, lead consultant in health protection, PHE North West, said: “Surveillance has shown that the number of people catching flu in the North West is starting to increase.

“Flu can be serious and even deadly for older adults, very young children, and people with underlying health conditions. The vaccine is the best defence we have against what can be a serious illness. If you’re in an eligible group – make sure you get vaccinated by contacting your GP or pharmacist

"If they haven’t already had the flu nasal spray, it is important that children in the clinical risk groups for flu visit their GP as soon as possible to be vaccinated.

"Primary school children should take the opportunity to be vaccinated when their school vaccination programme begins, and toddlers aged two and three should contact their GP surgery to get their flu vaccine.

"PHE North West has seen an increase in reports of outbreaks in settings such as schools, hospitals and care homes. Don’t visit vulnerable people if you are unwell with flu.

"If you think you have flu, stay home and rest until you feel better."