300 people in intensive care as flu sweeps Britain
Fears of a more hostile return of last year’s H1N1 pandemic emerged in Britain this week as more than 300 people have been admitted to intensive care with influenza, health officials say.
It is unclear how many of the 302 patients have the H1N1 strain but they are thought to be in the majority. As temperature decreased in recent weeks, 14 people have died in the region with confirmed H1N1 flu and another three have died with a strain known as flu type B.
The British government’s health department urges everyone in at-risk groups, particularly pregnant women, to get vaccinated to protect them from being infected. However, reports indicate that half of those who ended up in intensive care did not have previous health problems. None of the victims have been 65 or over.
“I think the figures on flu are quite similar to two years ago,” Prime Minister David Cameron said in a press conference. “They are a little worse than last year. I think there is a very good grip in the Department of Health on this issue.”
H1N1 flu was discovered in North America last year and spread rapidly across the world. The virus is thought to have killed 18,450 people worldwide including a lot of pregnant women and young people.