Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Pensioner with swine flu dies

A pensioner who contracted swine flu has died in hospital, it emerged today.

The 73-year-old man from the Inverclyde area died at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley last night.

The unnamed man, who had serious underlying health conditions, had been treated in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit for the past 15 days.

Scotland's health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: "Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the patient at this tragic and very sad time. The family have asked for the patient's identity to be kept private.

"We are respecting their wish and will not be releasing the identity of this patient while the family come to terms with their loss.

"Although it is concerning that the patient had swine flu, we are aware that the patient had very serious underlying health issues.

"It's important to remember that the vast majority of those who have H1N1 are suffering from relatively mild symptoms.

"I would like to offer my reassurance that the risk to the public remains low but would also urge everyone to do what they can to help slow the spread of the virus by remembering to follow simple hygiene procedures."

A spokesman for the dead man's family said: "Our beloved relative was private in life and we would ask that his privacy continues to be respected as we try to come to terms with our loss."

There were 72 new cases of swine flu confirmed in Scotland on Friday, taking the country's total to 922.

More than 500 further cases of swine flu were confirmed in England the same day and took the total number of cases in England to 3,364, the Health Protection Agency said.

Three new cases in Wales and a further case in Northern Ireland took the overall UK total to 4,323.