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Swine flu update: Signs that cases 'may have plateaued'

swine flu cases levelling out in the UK 110,000 new cases this week - up 10,000 on last week

The number of swine flu cases in England may be levelling off, according to the latest figures released today by the Health Protection Agency. Last week there were an estimated 110,000 new cases of swine flu in England, an increase of 10,000 compared with the previous week.

Currently 793 people are being treated in hospital for swine flu, compared with 840 the week before. A total of 27 people have died as a result of the disease.

Throughout England, the number of people consulting their GP with flu-like illness has fallen slightly from 155 to 138 consultations per 100,000 people.

It is more than likely that the figures have been affected by the launch of the National Pandemic Flu Service - people can now turn to the internet or call the flu hotline instead of visiting their GP.

The start of the school summer holidays may have helped slow down the rate at which people are being infected. The Agency reported a decrease in the number of cases in 5 to 14 year olds - usually the age group predominantly affected by the virus. The highest consultation rates for flu-like illness was seen in those under the age of 5.

Estimated cases have continued to rise in other age-groups and in the north of England.

Most illness caused by the H1N1 virus continues to be mild, and the virus remains susceptible to all anti-viral drugs.

More information

TheFamilyGP guide to swine flu

This article was published on Thu 30 July 2009

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

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