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  • Why young people are dying from swine flu

    Posted on January 8th, 2011 admin No comments

    ROBERTO Vivancos, Consultant in communicable disease control at the Mersey Health Protection Unit, said it was difficult to compare flu deaths, as they were not recorded prior to last year’s pandemic.

    He said: “Fifty deaths nationally may seem high but people do die from flu every year, we just did not record things in the same way before so there is no way of comparing.

    “Levels are high this year and this partly explains the deaths. “More are getting it than last winter but last year the pandemic began in summer.

    “Many people had flu then which reduced levels in the winter months because they gained immunity.

    “Also last year more people came forward to be immunised.

    “I believe levels of immunisation earlier in this flu season were quite low.

    “More people were given anti-virals, which prevented it spreading. and the cold weather this year could also be an additional factor.”

    He added most deaths were in people with underlying health conditions.

    Jonathan Read, lecturer in epidemiology at Liverpool University, said older people were often immune to swine flu, because it was the predominant strain between 1918 and the 1957.

    He said: “Younger people are more vulnerable to the H1N1 strain, because we only began to see it again last year.

    “Most of the people who have died will have had underlying health problems, and these are the people who should have the vaccine.

    “But the chances of healthy people being very ill with it are still very low.

    “For the vast majority flu of any kind is more of an inconvenience.”