Another fall in number of swine flu cases
Dan GrimmerThe number of people with suspected swine flu in East Anglia has once again dropped, health bosses have revealed today.It is estimated that there were just 557 'observed' cases by medical professionals of swine flu across the whole region and 17 people are in hospital with some connection to the virus.Dan Grimmer
The number of people with suspected swine flu in East Anglia has once again dropped, health bosses have revealed today.
It is estimated that there were just 557 'observed' cases by medical professionals of swine flu across the whole region and 17 people are in hospital with some connection to the virus.
The amount of people in the region who received a unique reference number through the National Flu Pandemic Service - which enables those assessed with the virus to get Tamiflu - dropped to 6,022.
Last week there were 994 'observed' cases and 10,607 unique reference numbers were given out, and two weeks ago more than 50 people were in hospital because of the virus.
The drop follows an expected pattern and backs up predictions from health experts that the first 'wave' of the pandemic is over and we have now hit a calmer period before the predicted second wave later in the year.
A spokesman from the regional health authority, NHS East of England, said: 'This appears to confirm our planning assumptions of a plateau or decline, ahead of a second wave later in the year.
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'The majority of cases continue to be mild. People who think they may have flu should be using the national service. People who have swine flu symptoms will be given a unique reference number and told where their nearest antiviral collection point is. They should then ask a flu friend - a friend or relative who doesn't have swine flu - to go and pick up their antivirals.'
A breakdown of the figures in the region showed:
In the NHS Norfolk area, the number of 'observed' swine flu cases has dropped from 148.5 per 100,000 people (three weeks ago) to 26 and the number of antivirals collected dropped from 2,196 to 444.
In the NHS Yarmouth and Waveney area 844 unique reference numbers were issued in week one and this has fallen to 205 in week five.
NHS East of England is working with health professionals across the region to make sure they are prepared for when an expected 15pc of the population contract the virus.
While health bosses know there will be a second wave it is unsure exactly when, with predictions it will strike between September - when schools and universities resume - and November this year.
They confirmed there is plenty of Tamiflu to go round and they are looking at about 600 to 700,000 people in the region getting the virus.
The National Pandemic Flu Service is available online at www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu , on 0800 1 513 100 or 0800 1 513 200 (Textphone).