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Two men die from swine flu - total 20

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  • Two men die from swine flu - total 20

    Thursday, 10 December 2009 18:19
    Two men with underlying health conditions have died from swine flu.

    It brings the number of deaths from the H1N1 virus to 20, according to the Department of Health. The men were from the south and east of the country.

    A significant drop in new swine flu cases to around 5,500 in the past week has also been reported.

    There are 161 patients in hospital with the virus, nine in internsive care.

    Meanwhile, Northern Ireland Health Minister Michael McGimpsey has said he is very encouraged by the general downward trend of the figures for swine flu.

    There were no deaths related to swine flu in Northern Ireland in the past week and the total number of deaths so far remains at 13.

    Mr McGimpsey said the figures for GP consultation rates and the number of hospital cases suggested that the public health authority's preparations and plans were working.

    He said the signs were that swine flu continued to circulate in the community and was particularly affecting the under-fives.

    Of nine new hospitalised cases this week, five of these were in children under five.

    Mr McGimpsey said this highlighted the need to vaccinate these young children as soon as possible.

    So far, at least 200,000 people in Northern Ireland have been vaccinated. Once the priority groups have been vaccinated by the middle of this month, a second phase of the vaccination programme will be rolled out.

    Northern Ireland's Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride said the numbers of people receiving the swine flu vaccine continued to increase.

    He said they had almost completed the initial priority groups and were now ready to move to phase two, offering the vaccine to children aged from six months up to the age of five.
    The number of deaths from swine flu has reached 20 as two men have died from the H1N1 virus.
    Twitter: @RonanKelly13
    The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.