One in three children could catch swine flu, DoH warns

Almost one in three children could catch swine flu this winter, according to latest DoH planning guidance.

Sir Liam: concerned by the number of patients admitted to intensive care for the H1N1 virus
Sir Liam: concerned by the number of patients admitted to intensive care for the H1N1 virus

The guidance states that there will be a 12% clinical attack rate of swine flu this winter, with a higher rate for children of around 30%.

However, healthy children are currently not being recommended for vaccinaiton as vaccine supplies are being reserved for vulnerable patients.

The NHS can expect to face 35,000 hospitalised cases from swine flu, with 15% of hospitalised patients requiring critical care.

The guidance estimates that up to 1.5 million people could be ill with swine flu in a peak week, with a worst case scenario of 1,000 deaths during the winter.

Speaking at a briefing in central London today Sir Liam said that  the NHS would face sustained pressure from swine flu this winter and that cases of seasonal flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) could appear in the New Year, further increasing the pressure on NHS staff.

Sir Liam said that he was concerned by the increasing number of patients who are being admitted to intensive care for the virus.

This week there were 53,000 confirmed cases of swine flu in England. A total of 506 patients were hospitalised with swine flu in England with 99 of them in intensive care.

‘This is the highest rate since the start of the pandemic. It appears the virus is having a different impact in the flu season then it did in the summer.’

Sir Liam added that the DoH is looking into vaccinating disabled children in the school setting, following the deaths of two disabled children in Northern Ireland from swine flu.

‘The health secretary Andy Burnham has asked us to urgently look at this,’ said Sir Liam.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Hospitals adding to GP crisis with constant flow of work dumped on practices, say LMCs

Hospitals adding to GP crisis with constant flow of work dumped on practices, say LMCs

Hospitals are compounding the GP workload crisis by dumping 'endless tasks' on primary...

Abnormal vaginal discharge - red flag symptoms

Abnormal vaginal discharge - red flag symptoms

Advice on red flag symptoms in patients with vaginal discharge, including what examinations...

GMC demands 'greater autonomy' to tackle bias against BAME doctors

GMC demands 'greater autonomy' to tackle bias against BAME doctors

The GMC has called for ‘greater autonomy’ to choose the complaints it investigates,...

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

Government must invest to end 'historic' GP crisis in wake of COVID-19, says BMA

Government must invest to end 'historic' GP crisis in wake of COVID-19, says BMA

General practice is facing 'historic workforce and workload crises' that have been...

Most GP care should be face-to-face post-COVID, says RCGP

Most GP care should be face-to-face post-COVID, says RCGP

General practice faces a 'rebalancing' between face-to-face and remote consultations...