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Girl aged 8 dies of suspected swine flu

PUBLISHED: 21:01 22 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:50 06 July 2010

The parents of an eight-year-old girl who died after contracting suspected swine flu have urged people to take up protection against the virus in the hope of preventing another tragedy.

The parents of an eight-year-old girl who died after contracting suspected swine flu have urged people to take up protection against the virus in the hope of preventing another tragedy.

The parents of an eight-year-old girl who died after contracting suspected swine flu have urged people to take up protection against the virus in the hope of preventing another tragedy.

The parents of an eight-year-old girl who died after contracting suspected swine flu have urged people to take up protection against the virus in the hope of preventing another tragedy.

Maisie Price died on October 12 at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and a post mortem examination revealed her death may be linked to swine flu, although further tests are currently being carried out.

An inquest was yesterday opened and was adjourned while further medical tests are carried out on the youngster who lived at The Swale, Bowthorpe, Norwich.

It is not yet known whether Maisie had any other underlying health problems, which may have contributed to her death.

Her parents, Kevin and Andrea Price, said in a statement they were devastated that in less than 24 hours their “beautiful and energetic daughter was taken from them”.

It read: “At this time we are awaiting the definitive cause of the death of our daughter, but we understand that it is possible that Maisie suffered from a previously undiagnosed condition, which might have made her less able to resist the swine flu virus, and which could have helped to determine its fatal effect.

“We would urge all of those people who will be offered protection from this virus through the swine flu vaccination to accept that opportunity to minimise the risk of their suffering a similar tragic and shattering experience.

“And we would ask for people, especially other parents, to continue to make themselves aware and to follow the government's advice on how to protect themselves and others from catching or spreading this virus.

“Our family and friends now wish to be given the privacy we need to grieve for Maisie, and ask that people give us the respect and space to do that.”

At the inquest, held by Norfolk coroner William Armstrong, it was determined that a post mortem examination had been carried out by a consultant at Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge, and a preliminary report had been compiled.

Mr Armstrong said: “On the basis of evidence currently available it appears Maisie's death may be linked to swine flu, but other tests are being carried out in the next few days.

“I express my deepest sympathy for the family and hope they are left alone to grieve in peace at this very difficult time.”

Dr Ian Mack, chairman of NHS Norfolk's Clinical Executive, said: “We offer our sincere condolences to the family and we are offering them support and help at this time.

“NHS Norfolk is continuing to take a wide range of actions to combat swine flu through an incident management team, public health specialists and pharmacists.”

If you think that you may have swine flu, you should contact National Pandemic Flu Service for assessment, which is available on 0800 1 513 100, or use the online service at: www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu .

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