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Dramatic drop in new swine flu cases

swine flu cases falling Infection rates fall across the country

The total number of new swine flu cases in the last week has dropped dramatically, according to new figures released today by the Health Protection Agency.

Last week an estimated 30,000 people caught swine flu- down from 110,000 in the previous week.

These figures are based on the number of people visiting their GP with flu-like illness, and they show that influenza infection rates have decreased sharply across all regions of the country, now averaging 42 consultations per 100,000 people. Last week’s figure was 138 per 100,000.

The reduction was seen in all age groups.

The number of people admitted to hospital also fell from 793 last week to 530, but deaths due to the virus have increased by nine to 36.

The Agency reported that most illness due to the virus continues to be mild, but can be severe in a minority of cases.

There were no signs of the virus developing resistance to anti-viral drugs or of the virus changing, they said.

The HPA also added that producing reliable estimates of new swine flu cases has become more challenging since the launch of the National Flu Pandemic Service (NFPS) on July 23 as more people have relied on the NFPS rather than their GP for a flu diagnosis.

This article was published on Thu 6 August 2009

Image © CDC C. S. Goldsmith and A. Balish

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