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Friday 21st October 2016

Big drop in swine flu cases

7th August 2009

Latest figures have revealed a significant fall in the number of new cases of H1N1 swine flu in England and Scotland.


Last week, there were an estimated 30,000 new cases in England, compared with 110,000 the previous week while in Scotland numbers fell from 1,500 to 1,050.

However, the number of deaths now stands at 40.

Wales saw new cases fall from 4,410 last week to 2,670, though there has been a rise in Northern Ireland from 10 cases to 83 new cases this week.

Overall, the Health Protection Agency said there was no sign the virus was mutating into a more lethal form, or developing resistance to drugs.

But the country is still on alert for a second wave of cases though England's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, said it was very difficult to predict when it would hit though he anticipated it could be when the schools return after the summer break.

"We can't be complacent about this, we have to continue planning, we have to be ready for what happens in the autumn," he said.

Global flu experts are looking at southern hemisphere cases to try to predict what could happen in the UK.

Swine flu deaths have rises significantly in Argentina to 337 while Mexico could be seeing a second wave of cases.

The World Health Organization said the first swine flu vaccines are likely to be licensed for use in the general population in September. Several manufacturers have produced initial batches of a H1N1 vaccine and clinical trials are underway.


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