Healthcare Tips

Swine Influenza Daily Update: 24 December 2009, Wales

September 06, 2017

A daily update on swine flu issued by the National Public Health Service for Wales. Spread and extent of the outbreak (information as at 5pm on 23 December) The NPHS influenza surveillance scheme, which records reports of diagnoses of flu from more than 300 GP practices across Wales, shows that the rate of influenza consultation is decreasing. Further detail can be found on the NPHS website: wales.nhs/sites3/page.cfm?orgid=457&pid=38241

The report from 22 December estimates there were 22.0 cases of a flu-like illness diagnosed by GPs out of every 100,000 people in Wales - this is the equivalent of 660 people in Wales contacting their GPs in the last seven days with flu like symptoms. Not all of these people will have swine flu and not everyone with flu like symptoms will contact their GP.

The report also shows levels of influenza activity in each county of Wales. On 22 December the rate of diagnosis of flu-like illness at a local level ranged from 5.1 per 100,000 people in Denbighshire to 37.8 per 100,000 people in Newport.

GPs are no longer being asked to swab people they suspect may have swine flu. Microbiology laboratories are therefore no longer testing mostpeople suspected of having swine flu.

The latest weekly swine flu report from the NPHS and Welsh Assembly Government, containing information on laboratory-confirmed cases of swine flu, hospitalised cases and swine flu-related deaths, can be found online. A new report is issued every Thursday. Please note that there will be no weekly report on 24 December and therefore the key points from the latest NPHS weekly surveillance report are summarised below.

One additional death from swine flu has been reported in the last seven days, bringing the total number of deaths from swine flu in Wales to 27. As at noon on 23 December, 646 cases of laboratory-confirmed swine flu had been reported by NPHS Health Protection Teams, of whom 437 had been admitted to hospital and 62 had been treated on intensive care or high dependency units.

As at noon on 22 December, six people were hospitalised in Wales in connection with swine flu, with one being treated in a critical care unit.

During the week ending 23 December, consultation rates for swine flu were highest in the 0-4 years age group.

The rates of GP consultations for flu-like illness across the UK, which are taken from different surveillance schemes and are not directly comparable, are: 20.3 cases of flu like illness diagnosed by GPs in the previous seven days out of every 100,000 people in Wales (as of 23 December). 29.7 cases of flu like illness diagnosed by GPs in the previous seven days out of every 100,000 people in England (for the week ending 13 December) 89.3 cases of flu like illness diagnosed by GPs out of every 100,000 people in Scotland (for the week ending 14 December) 60.3 cases of flu like illness diagnosed by GPs out of every 100,000 people in Northern Ireland (for the week ending 11 December) 299 people in the UK with swine flu have died - 27 in Wales, 203 in England, 55 in Scotland and 14 in Northern Ireland. The majority had underlying health conditions. For the latest international figures for the spread of swine flu, visit the website of the World Health Organization at www.who.int

Comment from the National Public Health Service for Wales Dr Roland Salmon, Director of the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, National Public Health Service for Wales, said:

"The number of people contacting their GP with flu symptoms across Wales as a whole is decreasing and is at a slightly lower level than we would expect to see at this time of year in a normal flu season.

"GPs involved in the NPHS influenza surveillance scheme and hospital doctors have continued to test people they think may have swine flu. The results show that there are other illnesses circulating in the community, with symptoms very similar to swine flu.

"The number of people who test positive for swine flu, as a proportion of all those being tested, is falling. Nevertheless, flu is still circulating so I still strongly advise people to be aware of the symptoms of swine flu and of the steps that can be taken to prevent its spread.

"The vaccine against swine flu is now being offered to people at most risk of complications from the virus as well as front line health and social care workers. Vaccination is the most effective tool we have in preventing swine flu so I urge people identified as being at risk to look out for their invitation to be vaccinated by their GP surgery.

"People with flu-like symptoms should stay at home, observe good respiratory and hand hygiene and stay away from GP surgeries, Accident and Emergency departments and pharmacies unless advised to attend, which will also help to limit the infection's spread.

"People with flu like symptoms should check their symptoms on www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs or by calling the Swine Flu Information Line on 0800 1 513 513.

"Most people will get better at home with rest, plenty of fluids, and medication such as paracetamol. Antiviral medications are available for individuals who are at particular risk from flu, or for people who become very ill.

"If symptoms worsen or people have underlying health problems they should call their GP. Most people make a full recovery from swine flu without needing to call a doctor or to be admitted to hospital. However, a few people go on to develop complications and as the pandemic continues we are seeing deaths from swine flu in Wales, just as we do most years from seasonal flu."

Source
National Public Health Service for Wales