Essex patient becomes the first 'healthy' Briton to die of swine flu

Victim had no underlying medical problems

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."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Website Editor

    £15 - £17 Per Hour: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently r...

    Primary Teachers needed for supply in Ipswich

    £21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: We are looking to rec...

    Primary Supply teaching jobs in Stowmarket

    £21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education ar...

    Year 1 Teacher

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: The Job An inner city Birmingham sc...

    Day In a Page

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments