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Thursday 27th October 2016

Further tests on swine flu victims

14th July 2009

Health secretary Andy Burnham has said parents should keep their worries about swine flu "in perspective" following the death of a child.

swine flu

Post-mortem tests are being carried out to ascertain if six-year-old Chloe Buckley and GP Dr Michael Day had other health issues which could have been a contributing factor in their deaths.

The total number of deaths in the UK from the virus now stands at 17.

Mr Burnham told GMTV: "There have been lots of children already having the condition but making a very quick and full recovery. We do have to keep it in perspective."

Tests on Dr Day confirmed that he was infected with the swine flu virus.

Chris Spencer, director of education at Hillingdon Borough Council, said that people were shocked at Chloe's death "who until a few days ago in all our minds was a child that was perfectly healthy".

Dr Chris Smith, a virologist at Cambridge University, said worldwide and UK data showed that the death rate for swine flu was 0.5 or 0.4%.

"In other words about one person in every 200 who contracts this virus may die. And that's unfortunately inevitable. We don't know why this happens." 

The government has placed orders for a vaccine against the disease in quantities to cover the UK population, with the first batch due to arrive soon.


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