Essex patient becomes the first 'healthy' Briton to die of swine flu
Victim had no underlying medical problems
Saturday 11 July 2009
A patient in Essex has become the first person in Britain to die from swine flu without having any underlying health problems. The patient, believed to be middle aged, died yesterday morning at Basildon University Hospital and is thought to have been admitted 10 days ago.
There have been 14 other deaths from swine flu in Britain but all of them were patients whose treatment was complicated by existing medical conditions.
Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer, said after learning of the fatality in Basildon that more such deaths can be expected. He said: "This death underlines that, although the virus is proving generally mild in most people, it is more severe in some cases. As with all flu-like viruses, some people are at higher risk than others. Unfortunately, people who are otherwise healthy could also become seriously ill or, sadly, die."
John Oxford, Professor of Virology at Queen Mary University of London, said the death was in line with the predicted behaviour of the swine flu virus. He said there was no reason for the death to mean there was any additional cause for concern in Basildon or anywhere else. "We've all been gritting our teeth, waiting for this to happen, and now it has," he said. "This doesn't necessarily mean the virus has mutated. Whether more patients with no underlying health problems die of the disease really depends on what the virus does next."
He speculated that the patient, whose identity has not been released at the request of the family, could have died after the virus moved into the lungs which then became infected by a bacterium, causing breathing difficulties and strain on the heart.
Britain's swine flu death toll is the third highest behind Mexico and the United States. In addition to 15 deaths there have been more than 9,700 confirmed cases of the disease in Britain, with London and the West Midlands approaching epidemic proportions.
In announcing the death, the Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust extended its "deepest sympathies" to the bereaved family. A spokesman for NHS East of England said: "The patient had no underlying health conditions. The family has asked specifically that no further details be released to protect the confidentiality of their loved one."
Life & Style blogs
Jennifer Lawrence nude pictures leaked: Reddit removes 'The Fappening' board dedicated to sharing naked pictures of celebrities
iPhone 'Wave': iOS 8 hoax claims you can charge your iPhone in the microwave - you can't
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No new blood and no fresh ideas at Milan Fashion Week: How do you solve a problem like Milano?
iOS 8: how to free up memory on your iPhone or iPad to install the update
- 1 Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how Twitter reacted
- 3 Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 4 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
£15 - £17 Per Hour: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently r...
£21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: We are looking to rec...
£21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education ar...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: The Job An inner city Birmingham sc...