Did Stevenage patient die of swine flu?

IT is understood a patient with swine flu at Lister Hospital in Stevenage has died. The East of England Strategic Health Authority (SHA) has refused to directly confirm this information, which came from a reliable source, but a SHA spokesman has alluded t

IT is understood a patient with swine flu at Lister Hospital in Stevenage has died.

The East of England Strategic Health Authority (SHA) has refused to directly confirm this information, which came from a reliable source, but a SHA spokesman has alluded to it. She said: "We don't know the cause of death so I don't think it would be helpful for us to comment."

The spokesman said swine flu-related deaths are confirmed after medical investigations have been completed. "At any time there will be several cases under investigation across the region," she explained. "It is unhelpful to speculate about cases as this may cause distress to the family."

However, the spokesman said that even when investigations have been concluded the SHA "cannot give further detail as it may prejudice patient confidentiality".


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Last week, 562 people in East and North Hertfordshire and 680 people in Bedfordshire collected swine flu anti-virals.

There have been 35 school outbreaks in the Eastern region since the beginning of the autumn term.

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Across the region there are currently 58 people in hospital with swine flu, and 16 of these patients are in critical care.

Since April there have been 12 deaths of East of England residents relating to swine flu.

Nationally there has been an increase in the numbers of swine flu-related deaths - up to 142 last week from 124 the previous week.

If you think you may have swine flu, you should contact the National Pandemic Flu Service for assessment on 0800 1 513 100 or use the online service at www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu You should call your GP directly if you have a serious underlying illness, you are pregnant, you have a sick child aged under one, your condition suddenly gets much worse, or your condition is still getting worse after seven days (or five days for a child).

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