Vanessa Feltz Says Daughter Was 'Deadly Ill' With Flu, And Shares One Piece Of Advice

“It’s influenza, it’s the flu bug that all the doctors warned us was probably coming this winter."
Vanessa Feltz appeared on ITV's This Morning to speak about her daughter being hospitalised with flu.
ITV This Morning
Vanessa Feltz appeared on ITV's This Morning to speak about her daughter being hospitalised with flu.
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Vanessa Feltz has opened up about her 36-year-old daughter Allegra being hospitalised with flu – and is urging people to get vaccinated against it because it may “save your life”.

The TV personality first took to Instagram over the weekend to share news of her daughter’s declining health, saying Allegra had been “very unwell” and on a drip since Thursday night (November 17).

“It’s influenza, it’s the flu bug that all the doctors warned us was probably coming this winter and she’s got a particularly virulent, horrible, horrible case of it – and guess what, she has been vaccinated,” she said.

On Tuesday, the 60-year-old shared an update on her daughter’s health on ITV’s This Morning and explained how when Allegra first became ill, she was being sick a lot, leading them to think it was norovirus.

“She started feeling incredibly ill – vomiting, vomiting, vomiting. We thought it was norovirus and the kind of thing you just deal with at home,” said Feltz.

“She got sicker and sicker. In the end she was admitted as an emergency and is still in hospital. She’s still on a drip.”

This year experts warned flu might be particularly problematic, largely due to the easing up of Covid restrictions and people not being exposed to viruses as much for the past two years.

The latest data suggest flu is impacting those aged five to 14 years old the most, followed by 15 to 44-year-olds.

“Hospitalisation rates remain stable overall but have increased in the under 5s and 75 and over age groups compared with the previous week,” says the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

Rates of hospitalisation are highest in those aged 85 and over, with the under-5s and 75- to 84-year-olds close behind.

Hospital admission rates and intensive care admission rates are “slightly above what would be expected for this time of year”, UKHSA’s report added.

Feltz shared her daughter’s story to raise awareness of the impact flu can have on healthy adults and urged people to get vaccinated if they haven’t already.

Lots of people are eligible for a free flu vaccine on the NHS so will have been called forward already. Those that aren’t eligible are still able to get the vaccine in most pharmacies, but will have to pay.

While the vaccine doesn’t necessarily prevent flu, it can reduce the severity of symptoms.

Feltz recalled how a doctor said that when someone gets flu badly, it is “worse” than Covid-19. “He said you feel like you’re going to die and in some cases you do,” she said.

“She has been deadly ill. Yesterday when I went to visit her in hospital, she could not open her eyes and she could not talk, she was so ill.”

Much to her relief, Feltz said her daughter – who has two children herself – appears to be “finally turning a corner”.

She added the hospital specialists said if her daughter hadn’t been vaccinated, she would’ve been even worse “which doesn’t bear thinking about”.

“Please, please, please get your flu vaccine,” she concluded. “She wouldn’t want what she’s going through to happen to anybody else, and neither would I.”

Winter calls for us to take greater care of ourselves and each other at this time of year, from our health and homes to our headspace and matters of the heart. Whether you’re seeking motivation or hibernation, HuffPost UK’s Winter Well series is here to help you through the short days and the longer months.

Lynn Scurfield for Huffpost