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  • UK: 607 confirmed fatalities due to influenza

    Swine flu surge leaves 15 dead and 100 in intensive care

    By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor


    Thursday, 16 December 2010
    Fifteen patients have died and more than 100 patients are in intensive care with suspected swine flu as doctors warned that the disease is turning out to be more severe than last year.

    Intensive care specialists said that the NHS was under greater pressure than 12 months ago. There has been a surge of cases admitted to hospital in the last 10 days and in the North-west the numbers are above those at the peak of last year's pandemic.

    Five deaths were reported in the North-west yesterday, including that of Kay Burdett, a 32-year-old mother-of-two from Liverpool, who had received hospital treatment for asthma.

    In the North-east, the situation is "as bad as or worse than" at the peak last year, according to public health specialists. Most of those affected are aged 18-35, including pregnant women, the obese and those with chronic health problems.

    Ten of the worst affected patients whose lungs have given out, including three pregnant women, are being treated on Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machines. A further six critically ill patients are waiting for spaces on the machines to become available. Extra beds have been opened in four hospitals at Papworth in Huntingdonshire, the Royal Brompton in London, Newcastle Upon Tyne NHS trust and University Hospitals of South Manchester, in addition to the existing unit at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester.

    Last year only Papworth and the Royal Brompton were opened.

    The numbers of severely ill patients have taken specialists by surprise because monitoring suggests low levels of swine flu in the community.

    There have been an unconfirmed reports of 17 flu deaths in the UK not including Scotland ? 15 of which are associated with H1N1 swine flu.Bob Winter, president of the Intensive Care Society and a consultant in Nottingham, said: "Something different is happening this year. The last 10 days have seen a sudden surge of activity. The numbers in intensive care are increasing across the UK. In the north west they are more than at the peak of the pandemic.

    "We have told the Department of Health that this is emerging as a serious issue. We suggested the groups convened last year for swine flu critical care planning should be reconvened. The disease seems disproportionately severe."

    Richard Firmin, director of the the UK's main ECMO centre at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, with five beds, said: "It is very busy, even busier than last year. The way we are headed we are not sure we will have enough capacity. We have 15 beds open altogether ? we didn't need more than 12 last year. We have pretty much activated all those who can do it.

    Snip

    "We have already had to escalate [provision of ECMO beds] two steps beyond what we had last year.

    Snip

    Full article

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-st...e-2161629.html

    Comments: There is no indication in reports about whether the fatalities and serious cases had previous vaccination whether this year or last. Full genetic sequencing of the virus is needed to see what, if anything, is different about the H1N1 circulating in the UK.

  • #2
    United Kingdom, ''The disease seems disproportionately severe'', an expert said. What is happening?

    Source: The Independent, full text: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-st...e-2161629.html

    (...)

    December 16, 2010

    (...)

    "We have told the Department of Health that this is emerging as a serious issue. We suggested the groups convened last year for swine flu critical care planning should be reconvened. The disease seems disproportionately severe."
    (...)

    Clearly in the UK is happening something that deserves major attention by national and supernational health authorities.

    More information about this unusual wave of severe acute respiratory illness among H1N1 (2009) influenza virus patients are eagerly awaited.

    (IOH)

    Comment


    • #3
      UK: Approximately 57 Deaths and +800 Patients stated to be critically ill (39 deaths confirmed by HPA as for Dec. 30 2010)

      As of today (4 Jan. 2011) There are 57 deaths confirmed and as many as 738 people stated to be critically ill in England, The U.K total is above 800, 15 Pediatric intensive care beds available - of 320 in U.K. All this reported by the media.

      10 Deaths ( First Reports on Saturday, 11 December)

      - http://www.independent.co.uk/life-st...-2157407.html?

      47 deaths (The last 2 weeks)

      First two deaths confirmed after The HPA report.
      - http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereven...all_comments=1

      A third man is confirmed to have died of Swine flu.
      - http://menmedia.co.uk/rochdaleobserv...tbreak?rss=yes

      Two more die in Liverpool
      - http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/...2534-27828211/

      A man dies of pH1N1 in Bolton.
      - http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/...ine_flu_death/

      A child dies of Swine flu in London.
      - http://www.islingtongazette.co.uk/ne...e_flu_1_753274

      Three die from swine flu at Whiston Hospital
      - http://www.sthelensstar.co.uk/news/8...ston_Hospital/

      Swine flu claims two more victims
      - http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereven...o_more_victims

      Two die and others seriously ill
      - http://news.scotsman.com/news/Two-di...sly.6663516.jp

      Three die as cases of swine flu spread
      - http://www.metro.co.uk/news/851051-t...#ixzz18lIbeaOO

      Alert as patient dies of swine flu
      - http://menmedia.co.uk/macclesfieldex...s_of_swine_flu

      Another two people have died from swine flu in Greater Manchester
      - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12052816

      A 42-year-old woman who was suffering from swine flu has died in hospital in south Manchester.
      - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england...ester-12075264

      Flu deaths continue to rise
      - http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/20...ntinue-to-rise

      Man dies of swine flu in Coventry University Hospital
      - http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/new...#ixzz19nISRO3f

      Two more die in Scotland after contracting swine flu
      - http://www.thecourier.co.uk/Communit...wine-flu.html?

      Four more deaths in Greater Manchester
      - http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereven...fe_in_hospital

      Man dies of swine flu after wedding
      - http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukp...1293881204078A

      A second person has died at a West Midland hospital
      - http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2...#ixzz1A0GJVCgW

      Swine flu pensioner dies in hospital
      - http://www.midsussextimes.co.uk/news...ital_1_2216310

      Man with swine flu dies in Hartlepool hospital
      - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tees-12107831

      Swine flu kills animal trainer on Harry Potter films
      - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...#ixzz1A0GhY3ka

      Olivia Rae Clee-Barnett, 17, from Wirral, Merseyside dies of Swine flu
      - http://www.clickliverpool.com/news/n...u-victim.html?

      Stockton man with swine flu dies in hospital
      - http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/te...#ixzz1A4Usfg6B





      --------
      738 flu victims in intensive care across England, the U.K count is above 800


      http://winterwatch.dh.gov.uk/winter-...december-2010/



      Previous ICU figures
      ***************

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12075039




      - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12052816


      - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...=feeds-newsxml


      - http://www.independent.co.uk/life-st...e-2161629.html
      Last edited by CopitoSP; January 4, 2011, 08:12 AM. Reason: Update information

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: UK: Approximately 22 Deaths and +100 Patients stated to be critically ill

        We merged 3 threads started this morning.

        I changed the title of the thread. It appears to be approximately 22 dead although it is not clear.

        Thanks everyone.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: UK: Approximately 22 Deaths and +100 Patients stated to be critically ill

          From December 16 2010 UK Health Protection Agency Influenza report (excerpt):

          http://www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAweb&HPA.../1284475022603

          (...)

          The HPA Respiratory Virus Unit (RVU) has isolated and characterised 27 influenza B, 33 influenza A H1N1 (2009) and one influenza A (H3N2) viruses from community and hospital samples since week 40.

          All influenza B viruses characterised belong to the B-Victoria lineage, similar to the current vaccine strain B/Brisbane/60/2008, all the H1N1 (2009) viruses are similar to the A/California/07/2009 vaccine strain and the influenza A (H3N2) virus is similar to the A/Perth/16/2009 vaccine strain indicating that the 2010/11 seasonal influenza vaccine will provide good protection to the strains currently circulating.

          Of 109 influenza H1N1 (2009) viruses reported as tested for antiviral susceptibility at RVU and regional labs since week 40 2010, one has been found to carry the H275Y mutation which confers resistance to the antiviral drug oseltamivir. Five further H1N1 (2009) viruses, two influenza A H3 viruses and five influenza B viruses have been fully tested for susceptibility and found to be sensitive to oseltamivir and zanamivir.

          (...)

          Disease severity and mortality data

          In week 48, an estimated 9,220 all-cause deaths were registered in England and Wales (source: Office for National Statistics), a slight decrease from the previous week and within expected levels for the time of year (figure 8).

          There have been reports of influenza hospitalisations and ICU admissions across the UK.

          Twenty-two H1N1 (2009) patients have been referred for ECMO up until 15 December 2010.

          Of these, 17 have received ECMO.

          All cases receiving ECMO have been adults under 65 years in age (median=39 years, IQR 35-45 years).

          Four
          of the 17 (23.5&#37 cases were pregnant.

          A number of influenza-related deaths have been reported to HPA from across the UK.

          From week 36 to 16 December 2010, 17 fatal cases have been verified by HPA as related to influenza infection.

          These will not represent all influenza-related deaths.

          Of these verified fatal cases, 14 have been associated with H1N1 (2009) infection and 3 with influenza B infection.

          All cases have been under 65 years in age (median age =33 years, IQR= 8-45 years) and six were aged under 18 years.

          At least eight of the 17 fatal cases were in one of the CMO-defined clinical risk groups for vaccination but none were pregnant.

          Of the 14 cases with available information on immunisation, none had received either trivalent influenza vaccination this season, or pandemic influenza vaccination last year.

          Information is still being sought from the remaining cases.

          (...)
          -
          ------

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: UK: Approximately 22 Deaths and +100 Patients stated to be critically ill (17 deaths confirmed by HPA as for Dec. 16 2010)

            We are requesting public release of the sequences in the above referenced report.

            Thank you.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: UK: Approximately 24 Deaths and +100 Patients stated to be critically ill (17 deaths confirmed by HPA as for Dec. 16 2010)

              Flu death toll rises to SEVENTEEN - and six of the victims were children

              Flu has claimed the lives of 17 people, including six children, so far this winter.

              Fourteen of the deaths are linked to H1N1 swine flu ? the strain which swept the country in last year?s pandemic.

              Another child, a girl of nine, was fighting for her life in hospital.

              A high proportion of victims are aged under 65, including six aged under 18, because swine flu is more likely to affect younger people.

              At least 17 of the worst affected patients whose lungs have given out, including four pregnant women, were last night being treated on extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation machines.

              A further four or five critically ill patients are waiting for spaces on the machines ? which use an artificial lung to oxygenate the blood outside the body ? to become available.

              Nine-year-old Chantelle McAdam, meanwhile, was on a life support machine after being was admitted to Manchester Royal Infirmary with breathing difficulties.

              Her mother, Emma Gibson, 28, of Blackpool, said: ?The last thing she said to me before they sedated her was, ?don?t leave me mummy?.?

              The ECMO technique requires double the number of specialist nurses of an intensive care bed.

              The UK?s main ECMO centre at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, with five beds, has already had to increase its capacity compared with last year.

              http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...-children.html

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: UK: Approximately 24 Deaths and +100 Patients stated to be critically ill (17 deaths confirmed by HPA as for Dec. 16 2010)

                Please see:

                UK - Man, 38, Dies of H1N1, 7 more swine flu cases confirmed at Southport Hospital

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: UK: Approximately 24 Deaths and +100 Patients stated to be critically ill (17 deaths confirmed by HPA as for Dec. 16 2010)

                  ?Swine flu kills ? it has not gone away? says spokesman - H1N1 virus claims life of north London child



                  SWINE flu is back, doctors have warned, after the H1N1 virus claimed the life of a child in north London.

                  NHS bosses said it could not reveal further details about the child but they are using the death to warn: ?Swine flu kills ? it has not gone away?.

                  A spokeswoman said: ?Sadly, there has already been a death from swine flu in the north London area, with a post-mortem confirming H1N1 Influenza [swine flu] as the cause of death.?

                  The winter flu vaccine has been combined with doses of the swine flu vaccine left over from last year.

                  It is for the first time available to pregnant women as well as pensioners and vulnerable groups.

                  Dr Quentin Sandifer, director of public health at NHS Camden, said: ?Most people recover well from flu. But for elderly people or people who have weaker immune systems it can lead to pneumonia and other complications that can be life-threatening.

                  ?Having a flu jab every year will help to protect against flu viruses circulating throughout the winter months.?


                  http://www.camdennewjournal.com/news...s-life-north-l

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: UK: Approximately 24 Deaths and +100 Patients stated to be critically ill (17 deaths confirmed by HPA as for Dec. 16 2010)

                    Family told pregnant mum, 25, could die from swine flu


                    <a href="http://s190.photobucket.com/albums/z27/prandot/?action=view&amp;current=1901826-vlarge.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z27/prandot/1901826-vlarge.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>


                    A PREGNANT woman is fighting for her life in hospital after contracting swine flu.

                    Mother-of-four Fallon Devaney, 25, was rushed to the Queen's Medical Centre struggling for breath.

                    She had been suffering flu symptoms for more than a week and the hospital confirmed she had swine flu.

                    Miss Devaney, who is five months pregnant with her fifth child, was in intensive care.

                    Her mother, Linda Fearney, from Beeston Rylands, has been at her daughter's bedside since she was taken ill on Tuesday.

                    Ms Fearney said: "She's near to death and it's touch and go. We do not know if she's going to survive."

                    Friends have set up a Facebook group called 'Get well soon Fallon' as a show of support to her and her family.

                    Ms Fearney said her daughter recently moved from Beeston to Kirk Hallam, near Ilkeston.

                    She said Fallon hadn't been vaccinated against swine flu.

                    "Everyone in the family has gone and had the vaccination since Fallon was taken ill," she said.

                    The Health Protection Agency has received reports of 17 deaths across the UK relating to influenza in the last three months ? 14 were associated with swine flu.

                    A spokesman for Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust confirmed Miss Devaney was in a critical condition at the QMC.

                    Dr Stephen Fowlie, Medical Director at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "We would encourage all people in at-risk groups to have the seasonal flu vaccine, including pregnant women and people over the age of 65. They should contact their GP for more advice."

                    http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/ne...l/article.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: UK: Approximately 24 Deaths and +100 Patients stated to be critically ill (17 deaths confirmed by HPA as for Dec. 16 2010)

                      Casualty units issue flu plea

                      Royal Liverpool Hospital
                      Hospitals in Merseyside and Cheshire are asking people with flu symptoms not to attend accident and emergency units.

                      They say the facilities are already under severe pressure and expect the situation to worsen if the cold snap persists as forecast.

                      Instead, people with symptoms are advised to stay at home, drink plenty of fluids and take medication bought from their local pharmacy.

                      Anyone with concerns about their health should call NHS direct on 0845 4647.

                      The Royal Liverpool Hospital says its accident unit has been almost overwhelmed by people attending with flu symptoms and a spokeswoman urged people not to visit the accident unit as it leads to delays for other patients.

                      She also warned of the dangers of passing the illness on to others.

                      Snip

                      http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/liverpoo...00/9297339.stm

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: UK: Approximately 24 Deaths and +100 Patients stated to be critically ill (17 deaths confirmed by HPA as for Dec. 16 2010)

                        Pregnant women urged to have flu vaccination8:39am Saturday 18th December 2010

                        Print Email Share Comments(2) By Barry Nelson ?
                        Health Editor


                        DOCTORS warned last night that Britain was facing a major health alert as 11 people in the region were confirmed critically ill with swine flu.

                        Medical experts are concerned because the return of swine flu has coincided with a drop in the number of people taking free vaccinations ? down by 15 per cent in October.

                        .....snip

                        Some of the victims fighting for their lives in the North- East have existing medical conditions and could have avoided the virus if they had been vaccinated.

                        Last night, North-East health officials said it was vital that all at-risk patients received the vaccine as soon as possible.

                        So far, 14 of the 17 UK deaths this flu season have involved swine flu. All were under 65 and six were under 18.

                        Last year?s pandemic claimed seven lives in the North-East.

                        ...snip

                        Dr George Rae, chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA) in the North-East, said: ?It is looking as if it could be worse than last year.

                        It is happening again and things could start to get out of hand.?

                        snip

                        The BMA said it was deeply concerned that a major flu crisis is brewing.

                        Dr Lawrence Buckman, chairman of the BMA?s GPs Committee, has written to the Government urging it to step up the public awareness campaign for seasonal flu immunisation.

                        Two of the 11 critically ill North-East patients are being kept alive by an advanced artificial lung machine known as ECMO (Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation). Newcastle?s Freeman Hospital?s ECMO unit, which is one of a handful in the country, is normally used to treat children with lung failure.

                        But because of the increased numbers of seriously ill flu patients the Newcastle Hospitals Trust has adapted the paediatric unit so it can treat adults.

                        snip

                        Earlier this week, Dr Richard Firmin, director of the UK?s main ECMO centre, in Leicester, said they were very busy, busier than last year with 15 ECMO beds open across the UK, compared with 12 at the peak of last year?s pandemic.

                        Health Protection Agency figures show that so far this season, 17 patients have needed ECMO treatment. All of them were adults under 65 and four were pregnant women.

                        Dr Tricia Cresswell, deputy medical director at NHS North-East, said: ?We?re very concerned about the number of people being admitted to hospital with serious complications from flu, who are critically ill.

                        ?Reassuringly, levels of flu in the general community remain quite low and most people recover well. However, for those with chronic health problems and for pregnant women, there is a risk of more serious illness.

                        ?We?re urging all those at risk ? especially pregnant women and young people with long-term health conditions ? to get vaccinated against flu as a matter of urgency ? please don?t be complacent.?

                        snip

                        http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/new...flu_crisis___/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: UK: Approximately 24 Deaths and +100 Patients stated to be critically ill (17 deaths confirmed by HPA as for Dec. 16 2010)

                          FluTrackers Officially Asking for Public Release of Sequences Referred to in UK 16/12/10 Health Protection Agency Flu report

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: UK: Approximately 24 Deaths and +100 Patients stated to be critically ill (17 deaths confirmed by HPA as for Dec. 16 2010)

                            Doctors warn of flu crisis


                            Britain is facing a major flu crisis this winter because fewer people in ?at-risk groups? are receiving the seasonal flu jab, GPs? leaders warned today.

                            Increased efforts by the government and NHS are needed to persuade people to get immunised and dispel the ?myths? surrounding the jab, the British Medical Association (BMA) said.

                            They are ?deeply concerned? that people whose health is vulnerable, such as elderly people, pregnant women and those with asthma or diabetes, could contract seasonal flu.

                            It has already claimed 17 lives since October, although many died from the H1N1 swine flu strain. It is one of the two main strains of flu in circulation this winter, along with the influenza B strain. Fourteen of the 17 had not had the seasonal flu jab.

                            ?GP leaders are deeply concerned that a major flu crisis is brewing this winter and are calling on the government to step up the public awareness campaign for seasonal flu immunisation?, said the BMA. ?GPs are reporting that fewer of their ?at-risk? patients are coming forward to be immunised this year and are concerned that, as a consequence, the regular seasonal outbreak could prove much more serious?.


                            ...


                            http://biomedme.com/general/doctors-...sis_26288.html

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: UK: Approximately 24 Deaths and +100 Patients stated to be critically ill (17 deaths confirmed by HPA as for Dec. 16 2010)

                              18 Dec 2010



                              Swine flu: half of worst afflicted were previously in good health


                              Fears of a major swine flu crisis were growing last night after a letter from the country's top doctor warned that half of the most severe cases have involved people who were previously healthy.

                              Professor Dame Sally Davies, the Government's chief medical officer, has written to all GPs and NHS hospitals warning of a "sharp increase" in the numbers of patients admitted to intensive care because swine flu has caused their lungs to fail.

                              The letter says pressures on critical care services are "significantly over and above" those expected at this time of year.

                              Crucially, the memo, written on Tuesday, says that while "half of patients requiring respiratory support have had recognised comorbidities [underlying health problems] which increase the risk for severe influenza, half have had no recognised comorbidities."

                              A spokesman for the Department of Health (DoH) confirmed that the presence of so many previously healthy people among those worst affected by the virus was "unusual" and said anyone concerned about worsening flu-like symptoms should contact their GP.

                              While overall flu levels remain normal for this time of year, the rate of flu has more than doubled in just seven days, latest figures show.

                              Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/sw...od-health.html
                              ?Addressing chronic disease is an issue of human rights ? that must be our call to arms"
                              Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief The Lancet

                              ~~~~ Twitter:@GertvanderHoek ~~~ GertvanderHoek@gmail.com ~~~

                              Comment

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