Doctors shocked by spread of swine flu – and its severity

Sunday, December 12, 2010
By Paul Martin

Jeremy Laurance
IndependentUK
Dec 11, 2010

The swine flu virus that swept the world last year causing a global health emergency has returned to claim the lives of 10 adults in the UK in the past six weeks.

The 10 deaths were in younger adults under 65 and associated with H1N1 swine flu. Most had underlying conditions but “a small proportion” were healthy before being struck down by the virus, according to the Health Protection Agency (HPA).

Seasonal flu normally causes severe illness and death in the elderly. The H1N1 swine flu virus targets pregnant women, younger adults, and those with chronic conditions, making it a cause of particular alarm.

No other similar reports of deaths linked with swine flu have been received from elsewhere in Europe. Official figures show GP consultations for flu-like illness in England were at 13.3 per 100,000 population last week, well below baseline levels.

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