Swine flu killed more Britons last winter than in pandemic

May 25, 2011

More people in Britain died after contracting swine flu last winter, with most deaths among young and middle-aged adults, than during the pandemic a year earlier, official figures showed on Wednesday.

In total, 602 people in Britain were reported as having died with an in the 2010/11 season, according to data from the Health Protection Agency (HPA).

Where information was available on the strain of the infection, more than 90 percent of the deaths -- 535 out of 582 -- were associated with A(H1N1) swine flu, the agency said in its annual flu report.

The figures for last winter compare to 474 deaths reported between June 2009 and April last year as being associated with A(H1N1).

The agency said that 70 percent of fatal cases last winter were in people aged 15 to 64. In past years, seasonal flu has predominantly affected the elderly.

"Traditionally the elderly have been more seriously affected by winter flu but the picture is beginning to change as we are now seeing a higher proportion of young and middle-aged people taken seriously ill," said the HPA's Professor John Watson.

In winter 2010, almost 70 percent of all those who died were in a clinical "at risk" group, which means they would have been eligible for vaccination against .

But, where figures were available, almost 75 percent of them had not received the .

A(H1N1) killed at least 18,449 people and affected some 214 countries and territories after it was uncovered in Mexico and the United States in April 2009.

The quick spread of the infectious new strain worldwide prompted the UN health agency to declare a on June 11, 2009 until August 10, 2010.

But the response was marred by doubts about the severity of the virus.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Onions could hold key to fighting antibiotic resistance

January 22, 2018
A type of onion could help the fight against antibiotic resistance in cases of tuberculosis, a UCL and Birkbeck-led study suggests.

New long-acting approach for malaria therapy developed

January 22, 2018
A new study, published in Nature Communications, conducted by the University of Liverpool and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine highlights a new 'long acting' medicine for the prevention of malaria.

Virus shown to be likely cause of mystery polio-like illness

January 22, 2018
A major review by UNSW researchers has identified strong evidence that a virus called Enterovirus D68 is the cause of a mystery polio-like illness that has paralysed children in the US, Canada and Europe.

Creation of synthetic horsepox virus could lead to more effective smallpox vaccine

January 19, 2018
UAlberta researchers created a new synthetic virus that could lead to the development of a more effective vaccine against smallpox. The discovery demonstrates how techniques based on the use of synthetic DNA can be used to ...

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

January 19, 2018
The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.