Four more swine flu deaths in NI

Published Thursday, 20 January 2011
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Twenty-one people have died from swine flu in Northern Ireland this winter, an increase of four on a previous update.

The Public Health Agency said 18 had underlying medical conditions, two did not and one case is still unclear.

In the latest flu bulletin published on Thursday, the PHA said that there were 85 new laboratory confirmed cases of swine flu in Northern Ireland last week compared to 219 in the first week of January 2011.

It said the main markers of the level of flu, including new cases and GP consultation rates, have "all decreased significantly in the past week."

Dr Carolyn Harper, Director of Public Health for Northern Ireland, said: "It is reassuring that the number of new flu cases per week has more than halved. If the current trend continues, the peak of this year's flu season has passed."

She said vaccination still remains the most effective way to "protect those who are most at risk from flu and its complications."

At a briefing on Thursday John Compton, Chief Executive, Health and Social Care Board, outlined the impact of flu and seasonal winter pressures on the health and social care services.

He said that as of Wednesday 18 out of 76 adult critical care patients and one out of eight paediatric critical care patients were being treated for flu.

"Of all patients being treated in hospital in Northern Ireland today, approximately 1.66% have been confirmed with swine flu or are suspected as having it", he added.

"This is not unusual at this time of year when flu is most prevalent."

Elective surgery was postponed for 138 people in the last week to meet the demands of swine flu sufferers.

Patients affected by the delay will be contacted directly by their hospital.

© UTV News
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8 Comments
JAMES ERICSON in Hawaii wrote (1,255 days ago):
I got the flu and then a terrible lung infection afterward. I was in bed for about 2 months. I lost about 50 lbs in 50 days. The doctors had no suggestions even the lung specialist. My RN wife bought a Vaporizer and ran it day and night and I started to get better. I would be glad to answer questions.
mechelle in b-mena wrote (1,281 days ago):
i agree with Mike,people die of flu,weither is h5n1 swine flu or regular flu,flu can kill,people are being pressured into talking the anti-flu jag,when if you research it,its has dangerous levers of mercury,is pregnant woman not told to avoid tuna due to mercury levels? even the makers of the swine flu vaccine will not have their own family members take it! people should chill out and not take ever drug going,get a strong immune system built up,best thing anyone can do,and stop listening to all the hipe thats being heard on the news..soon we wont be able to fight the common cold out ammune systems will be so weak due to drugs.my child is 12 he hasnt had an anti-biotic since he was 8 months old,had rather nasty flu over xmas,but i was adiment to should fight it himself,big strong child,and he did,dont go ruining ur childrens health by pumping them full of chemicals from a young age,strenghten your childrens immunity,plenty of fresh fruit and veg,easy done.
edward williams in camarthenshire wrote (1,282 days ago):
Very interesting that no informed pressure is put on the public to cover their mouths when coughing sneezing, especially in places where food is served, sold. I have very frequently left a supermarket when sombody blatantly coughs over the uncovered sections, cold meats ect. Incidently food standards should intervene here, they are quick enough if your running a food stall or business. Why doesnt the supermarkets put a sign for these ingnorant people. Surely they are not that ignorant. Then maybe not so many people will need to be vaccinated. Spread of any virus is mainly due to dropplet infection ie coughing sneezing, yet this seems to be the last thing on anyones minds in the fight to keep it contained. God help us all if the plague returns. Mind you the drug companys wouldnt make so much money if they made the public more aware. I am medically trained by the way! and it is sad to hear. Oh its only killed 20 people whats the problem. THEIRS if its a member of their family.
Mike in Belfast wrote (1,282 days ago):
Clare and Leesa catch yourselves on. It's flu. You go to bed, drink fluids and stay warm and, unless you have an underlying health problem, you get better in a few days. It's people like you that are costing the tax payer a fortune by clogging up hospitals for nothing. We just love a good drama don't we?
Clare in Belfast wrote (1,282 days ago):
Mike, I hope that no member of your family "unfortunately" takes ill with this flu and dies. Will your response simply be "That's the way it is". Sympathy to those families who have recently lost loved ones.
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