There are early signs a spike in flu and Covid cases in Scotland may be easing, a public health expert has said.

Jillian Evans, head of health intelligence at NHS Grampian, said the most recent data pointed towards a dip in the respiratory illnesses, which were on the rise in December.

Public Health Scotland’s statistics on hospital admissions for influenza and Covid-19 show both illnesses climbing in December, reaching a peak at the end of the month.

On the week ending January 7, Covid admissions were at 350 compared to 381 the previous week.

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Influenza admissions were at 350 in the week ending January 7, compared to 452 the previous week.

Speaking to the BBC’s Sunday Show programme, Ms Evans said: “Lots of nasty bugs around, many people feeling ill by them.

“And the stats of course from December were showing quite an increase in Covid and in flu.”

She said there had been a “dip” in both illnesses since the new year, adding: “Right now, we’re seeing some early signs that we may have peaked, certainly in terms of Covid prevalence in the community, hospital admissions too

“So it’s positive signs, we may not be the worst, we’ll know a bit more this week.”

She cautioned around complacency on Covid, saying it can still leave people “very ill”.

Ms Evans said: “How we feel about Covid, how we feel about respiratory illness, seems to be much more like it was before the pandemic.

“And I think we need to maintain people’s vigilance and awareness of this, but not to frighten them too.”