Chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson has said latest figures show a ‘small increase’ in the number of new swine flu infections.
Last week, the number of new cases stood at an estimated 84,000 - an increase of 6,000 on the previous week.
Sir Liam said there had been a reduction in the number of young people contracting the disease.
Speaking through a video link from Washington, he explained: “This could be a half-term effect - we can’t be completely sure - so, before starting to talk too much about the overall flattening off and even a slight reduction, we’ve got to wait a week or two to see what happens.”
He added, however, that there had been a rise in swine flu patients in critical care. Of 848 people in hospital with the virus, 172 are in intensive care.
Sir Liam said there had been a “snowballing” of critical care cases over the last few weeks.