Deaths from influenza rise to 134 in a month

(First Edition)

INFLUENZA has killed 134 people in England and Wales in one month, according to figures released yesterday. That compares with eight deaths in the same period last year. Deaths from pneumonia are also increasing.

Figures from the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys show that 46 people died of influenza or influenzal pneumonia in the week ending 26 November.

During the same period, 845 people died of pneumonia, up from 808 the previous week. But the Royal College of General Practitioners, which monitors the incidence of influenza in 80 to 90 practices in England and Wales, said its latest figures showed that the problem had peaked.

The director of its Birmingham research unit, Dr Douglas Fleming, said: 'Influenza activity is similar to the previous week in central and southern areas, whereas in the North there has been a further decrease.'