Swine flu feared as baby dies in Belfast hospital

A second suspected death from swine flu in Northern Ireland was today confirmed by Health Minister Michael McGimpsey.

It is understood a post mortem is to be carried out on the victim, believed to be an infant, who died at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

It is unclear if the child had any underlying health conditions, but it is thought the baby’s death was linked to swine flu.

Mr McGimpsey said he had been informed by a Trust of a “possible further death” associated with the virus.

The Department of Health, however, would not comment further on the age or sex of the victim.

In a statement Mr McGimpsey said: “I have been informed by a Trust of a possible further death associated with swine flu.

“Obviously every death is tragic and my thoughts and sympathies are with the family of the deceased.

“I do not wish to make any further comment until the results of the post mortem are known.”

Last month Caroline Hoy (39) from Ahoghill, Co Antrim died at Belfast City Hospital.

The mother-of-two had been diagnosed with terminal cancer before she contracted swine flu.

Lee Porter, a soldier from Coleraine, Co Londonderry, died from swine flu at a hospital in Surrey on July 31. The news of the second suspected death from the virus comes as it emerged the cost of the swine flu outbreak could reach almost £100m.

Mr McGimpsey said developing a vaccine and antibiotics have used up cash and wants the Treasury to meet the unanticipated bill.

Mr McGimpsey, however, said he had received no assurances yet.

The minister was asked about the price tag at the Assembly yesterday, but said progress was being made despite the uncertainty.

“A number of those measures are already in place, others are coming into place,” he said.

“Part of that as we are aware now is a sleeping contract for vaccines, extra anti-virals, extra antibiotics, personal protection equipment and so on.”

He added the best estimate of the cost of the pandemic was £78m but that it could be in a range between £65-£96m depending on the severity of spread.

He asked the previous Finance Minister Nigel Dodds to request extra money from the Treasury but the response had been negative.

“It does leave us a very big shortfall,” he added.

There have been 189 confirmed cases of swine flu in Northern Ireland to date.

* Source: The Belfast Telegraph.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
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
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
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

    SEN Learning Support Assistant

    £50 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an SEN Learning Supp...

    General Cover Teachers - GRIMSBY

    £120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: We are working with a number of ...

    SECONDARY SUPPLY TEACHERS NEEDED IN AND AROUND FOLKESTONE

    Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Description Randstad Education i...

    KS1 and KS2 Primary NQT Job in Lancaster Area

    £85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education is urgently...

    Day In a Page

    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
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week