A 45-year-old man has become the first in the UK to be made critically ill solely because of swine flu, health officials said yesterday.
The man, from Paisley in Scotland, was in intensive care at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Renfrewshire last night, where he joined another new critical case of the disease, a 38-year-old woman who has chronic underlying health problems. A third patient, aged 37, also with underlying health problems, remains in a critical condition in a Glasgow hospital.
Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said there was no need for the public to be "unduly worried" as she announced the total number of confirmed swine flu cases in Scotland had increased by 23 to 65.
Ms Sturgeon said she understood concerns the public would have about the new critical cases. "But, in any flu scenario, small numbers of patients will develop complications and will require that kind of medical intervention," she said. "The fact remains that in the majority of cases, people are experiencing relatively mild symptoms."
The Health Protection Agency revealed yesterday that the total number of cases in the UK now stands at 362, with a further 282 possible cases under investigation.