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Swine flu claims seven more victims in Yorkshire and the Humber
SEVEN people have died of swine flu in the last fortnight in Yorkshire and the Humber out of a total of 16 who have lost their lives in the region since the outbreak began.
The latest figures show a marked increase in the number of deaths, but in York the number of people admitted to hospital with the virus in the last fortnight has fallen slightly.
The statistics show 15 people were hospitalised with the bug between October 29 and November 11. But for the fortnight leading up to October 29, 17 people needed hospital treatment.
Health experts are still maintaining that there is no need to panic.
Professor Paul Johnstone, regional director of public health at NHS Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Over the last few weeks we have sadly seen an increase in the number of deaths of people who had swine flu in our region.
“These patients were in ‘at-risk’ groups and had significant underlying health problems.
“There is no need to panic but this underlines the importance of all those in at-risk groups to have the vaccination when contacted by their GP. For all normally healthy people, not in at risk groups, who may catch swine flu they will only experience typical flu-like symptoms.”
For North Yorkshire as a whole 32 people – which includes those in York – have been admitted to hospital with swine flu. This compares with 26 for the fortnight leading up to October 29.
In the East Riding, ten people have been hospitalised during the last fortnight.
There are currently 48 places across York and North Yorkshire where Tamiflu can be collected.
But Prof Johnstone stressed there are simple steps people can take to help prevent catching colds and flu in the first place based on good respiratory and hand hygiene.
He said: “Always use a tissue to catch sneezes, throw away used tissues where germs can linger and regularly wash hands.”
If people with the bug do not show signs of improvement they should stay at home and call the National Pandemic Flu Service on 0800 1 513 100 or 0800 1 513 200 (Textphone), unless they have an underlying illness, in which case they should contact their GP directly.