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More research will need to be done into the effects of vigorous exercise in warding off the flu, but fresh data shows it can help reduce the chance of catching it, experts have said.
Dr Alma Adler, research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, explained:
– Dr Alma Adler
We're really interested in the preliminary findings around fitness activity and flu-like illness, as exercise is something that everyone can do to reduce your chance of having flu.
We need to treat this result cautiously as these are preliminary findings, however they are consistent with findings for other conditions and really show the health benefits of exercise.
Although many people have dodged the flu bullet this winter, flu can occur at any time, so taking advantage of the better weather is a great opportunity to get out and get fit to ward off flu this spring.
Two-and-a-half hours of vigorous exercise every week cut the chance of catching the flu by approximately 10%, research suggests.
Physical activity which leads to sweating or hard breathing reduces flu or flu-like illness, experts at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found.
Walking, light jogging and other gentle sports which did not raise heart rate, were found to have little effect.
The Flusurvey also found overall flu levels across the UK appear to be down on last year, with the influenza season apparently curbed by a lack of illness among children and young people.
The latest milestone in Britain's drawdown came as a final convoy of vehicles returned equipment from the camp at Price, to Camp Bastion.
The convoy, or Combat Logistic Patrol (CLP), returned to Bastion yesterday in the last of some 30 convoys that have been bringing kit back from bases across Helmand for the past six months.
At a base in Lashkar Gah, Corporal David Thorpe told ITV News his second tour in Afghanistan has been "much more secure". He said he wants to make sure that British troops leave the region with their "heads held high", and spoke about how he is looking forward to "getting back to my wife and kids".
Lashka Gah, was once the headquarters of Task Force Helmand. The final move comes as the Ministry of Defence announced the closure of three important bases in Helmand province over the last month.
Police watchdog the IPCC suffer from a "lack of transparency", :"robustness" and "lack of communication" when dealing with the families of people who have died in custody, said the sister of one victim.
Marcia Rigg, who lost her brother Sean, a musician and paranoid schizophrenic, in Brixton police station in 2008, said she initially welcomed the report, but was wary of how effective it would be.
– Marcia Rigg
There is a constant pattern...within IPCC investigations where there is a lack of transparency and robustness and a lack of communications between the families, so I think it is fundamental the IPCC should address those issues.
I'm happy they have liaised with families like myself in order to have a feel of the concerns we have and the critical aspects we have towards police officers and the way our loved ones have died.
But the proof is in the pudding. They've not won the families over yet...I had no faith in the IPCC whatsoever before and it's now the right time for them to prove themselves.
- Strengthening the role of commissioners.
- Developing internal and external expertise of mental health, discrimination, scene management and forensic science.
- Setting up a dedicated referrals team.
- Developing a terms of reference with bereaved families and improving engagement.
- Keeping the officers under investigation as informed as possible of progress and timescale.
- Developing links with people and organisations in the community, including those that have little to no faith in the police.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has come under fire for the way it investigates deaths in custody, with many bereaved families saying they felt like they were under investigation.
Grieving relatives accused the IPCC of lacking "empathy, sensitivity and compassion", while some "felt that they and those who had died were wrongly characterised or unfairly judged".
The IPCC was roundly criticised in a 111 page report into their handlings of deaths in police custody, with respondents urging better training for staff on diversity issues.
Mental health was also a major underlying issue in many deaths in custody investigated by the IPCC - approximately half of all those who died in police custody in 2012/13, and almost two-thirds of those who apparently took their own lives afterwards, were known to have mental health problems.
HS2 boss Sir David Higgins has said the project was "vital for the future of the country".He added: "The cost and impact have to be recognised and acknowledged, but so too do the cost and impact of doing nothing.
"Without HS2, the people of this country will continue to face the failures of our transport system on a daily basis.
"This contingency has pushed the price of phase one, from London to Birmingham, up to £21.4 billion with £3 billion for the trains, while the cost of the second phase, taking the line in a Y-shape to north west and north east England is put at £21.2 billion with around £4.5 billion for the trains."
Mary Creagh MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, responding to David Higgins’ report into HS2, has welcomed his strong focus on the steps the Government needs to take to get High Speed 2 back on track and ensure value for money".
– Mary Creagh MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary
David Higgins has made it clear that there are significant savings to be made if David Cameron gets a grip of this project and stops all these delays.
On Phase Two, we are glad that more work will be done to link HS2 with future rail investment and that the greater focus we have been calling for on connectivity between our northern cities has replaced the Government’s previous take it or leave it approach.
That is how we ensure the maximum benefits for the whole country from this project while we pressure the Government to keep the costs down.
Launching his report in Manchester, Sir David Higgins, HS2's recently appointed chairman, will say that he would like work to start on the second phase at the same time as the first phase.
The second phase, taking the line in a Y-shape to north west and north east England is set for completion around 2032/33. He is also expected to recommend a completely new station at Euston - the site for the line's London terminus.
Sir David, the former London Olympics supremo who has joined HS2 Ltd after being Network Rail chief executive, is also expected to recommend scrapping plans to link HS2 with HS1, the London to Kent coast Channel Tunnel high-speed line.