Flu surge alarms doctors as virus hits children

Friday, December 24, 2010
By Paul Martin

Number of recorded cases this season doubles as fears grow of swine flu resurgence

Sarah Boseley
Guardian.co.uk
Thursday 23 December 2010

Concerns over the spread and virulence of the latest flu outbreak are increasing among health experts, following a doubling of cases in a week and the announcement today of 10 more deaths, taking the total this season to 27.

Influenza expert Professor John Oxford described the upward curve of the flu cases graph as “pretty horrible”. According to the Royal College of GPs, confirmed cases have increased from 32.8 per 100,000 to 87.1 per 100,000 in the last week.

The true figure will be higher as some people will stay at home in bed without seeing a doctor.

The chief anxiety is that the predominant strain is H1N1 swine flu, which triggered last year’s pandemic and is now coming around for a second season. Most over-65s are protected, because the strain is similar to one that circulated years ago, so it is a younger age group, including children and pregnant women, who are being hardest hit.

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