Eastern region swine flu cases rise
Dan Grimmer The number of suspected swine flu cases in the region has risen again and two deaths related to the virus have been confirmed.
The number of suspected swine flu cases in the region has risen again and two deaths related to the virus have been confirmed.
New figures released by NHS East of England show that the number of unique reference numbers, which people are given when they contact the pandemic flu service, has increased, along with the number of antiviral drugs handed out to people.
In the past week in the region 5,556 reference numbers were given out and 3,683 antivirals collected, compared to 5,550 reference numbers given out the week before and 3,496 antivirals collected.
The deaths involve a young person who had "serious underlying health problems" and a woman who had no significant underlying conditions.
Further tests are under way, but it appears at this stage that, while this woman tested positive for the swine flu virus, it was not the primary cause of her death.
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The families of the two patients have asked that no further details be released to protect the confidentiality of their loved ones.
Dr Linda Sheridan, director of flu resilience for NHS East of England, said: "I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the families as they come to terms with their sad loss.
"People should not be unduly alarmed. The swine flu virus is mild in most cases, but sadly in some cases can be more severe.
"As with all flu-like viruses, some people are at higher risk than others. Swine flu does affect some people more than others, that is why it is important to contact the National Pandemic Flu Service for antiviral treatment if you need it.
"It is also important for people in at-risk groups to get vaccinated - your GP will contact you if you fall in to one of these groups."
For more information, log on to www.direct.gov.uk.pandemicflu.