Britain totals up swine flu deaths

May 26, 2011 at 3:43 PM
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LONDON, May 26 (UPI) -- British officials say more deaths were linked to the H1N1 flu virus in the most recent season in the United Kingdom than during the global outbreak of 2009.

Health authorities say at least 562 deaths have been blamed on the virus during 2010-11, compared with 474 in the 2009 outbreak, The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.

The Health Protection Agency reported the highest regional concentrations of deaths was in the northwest of England, Yorkshire and the Humber, and Scotland.

The Department of Health said it hopes to vaccinate far more people including frontline doctors and nurses as well as at-risk groups such as pregnant women and those with long-term diseases.

"For the majority of people with these conditions, flu is a preventable illness and ahead of the next flu season, a concerted effort must be made by healthcare professionals -- including GPs and midwives -- to encourage those at risk to take up the offer vaccination," said John Watson, head of the HPA's respiratory diseases department.

"It is the best way to protect against flu."

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