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Swine flu cases starting to decline

28 January 2011

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The number of people in the UK who have died with flu since September has risen to 338, figures show.

The figures, from the Health Protection Agency (HPA), show an increase from the 254 cases reported last week to 297.

Of these cases, where information was available, the majority (92%) were linked to swine flu.

Of the 306 cases with information on age, most (217) were in the 15 to 54 age group. Meanwhile 10 victims were aged under five, 14 between the ages of five and 14, and 65 were aged 65 or over.

An estimated 75% of those who died were in an at-risk group, meaning they either had an underlying health condition such as heart disease or diabetes, or were aged over 65. A similar proportion of deceased flu victims had also not had the seasonal flu jabs.

In the past seven days the amount of GP consultations for flu or suspected flu has dropped to 40.7 per 100,000, which has been reduced from 66.5 per 100,000 from the previous week. This figure reached its peak on December 30 with 124.4 per 100,000 consultations.

Professor John Watson, head of the respiratory diseases department at the HPA, said: ‘Our latest flu report suggests levels of flu are continuing to decline across the UK and we appear to be over the peak of activity.

‘However, flu is still circulating and it is important that people remember to practise good cough and hand hygiene, such as covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough and sneeze, and then disposing of these as soon as possible to stop it spreading in the community.’

Copyright © Press Association 2011