Swine flu child dies in Northern Ireland

A child diagnosed with swine flu in Northern Ireland just over a week ago has died, the Public Health Agency confirmed today.

The pupil went to Ceara School in Lurgan - a special school for children with severe learning disabilities.



Twenty people from Northern Ireland died in last year's swine flu outbreak, including a number of children with severe learning difficulties.



A PHA spokeswoman said: "The PHA can confirm that a child with confirmed flu infection, who attended a school for children with special needs, has sadly passed away.



"The PHA would like to extend its deepest sympathy to the family of this child. This death is a reminder that flu infection can cause serious complications, and indeed death, in those with certain underlying medical conditions."



Children who attend schools for those with severe learning difficulties should receive flu vaccines this year and the PHA has written to their parents and all GPs asking for them to be immunised as soon as possible. This year's vaccine protects against three strains of flu, including H1N1 flu.



The spokeswoman added: "While there is no evidence at present that flu is circulating widely in the community it is impossible to predict when it will.



"We would advise all those who are eligible for flu immunisation to make sure they get it as soon as possible."

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