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Swine Flu weekly report

This week’s report from NHS West Midlands shows that the rate of new cases of swine flu continues to slow across the region. Information provided indicates current impact on the local services.
Key Messages
Patients presenting at primary care centres with influenza-like symptoms has decreased within the health economy over the last week. The number of people with swine flu admitted to hospitals in the West Midlands has fallen this week.
Activity /Rates – GPs
This shows the number of patients attending primary care with influenza-like illness, taken from the latest Health Protection Agency QSurveillance data. This data indicates a significant decrease for the week ending 16 August 2009, across England, West Midlands and within Birmingham East and North.

The reported rate of GP consultations per 100,000 population within the West Midlands for the week was 31.2 (compared with 45 for the previous week).

West Midlands average 31.2 (per 100,000)
England and Wales rates 30.4 (per 100,000)
NHS Birmingham East and North 43.2 (per 100,000)

Number of Hospital Admissions
The total number of new admissions with swine flu admitted to hospitals in the West Midlands for the period 13 August to 19 August 2009 is 61. As of 19 August, there were 24 people in hospital.

Number of Swine Flu Related Deaths
There have been no swine flu-related deaths reported for the week 13 August to 19 August 2009 within the West Midlands. The total number of deaths for the region remains at eight.

Update on Anti-Viral Collection Points (ACPs)
Total number of Antiviral Collection Points planned for the Local Health Economy: 10
Currently open: 1 (Stechford)

The PCT currently has one ACP open which is in line with the current level of need. Plans are in place to open more collection points to meet any increase in demand.

Total number of assessments via the National Flu Pandemic Service (West Midlands): 95,375
Total number of antivirals collected (West Midlands): 44,815
Vaccination Programme

The swine flu vaccination programme commences in the autumn and will initially focus on vaccinating people from priority groups across England including:

1.People aged over six months and under 65 years in current seasonal flu vaccine clinical at-risk groups (about 5 million people).
2.All pregnant women, subject to licensing conditions on trimesters (about 0.5 million people).
3.Household contacts of people with compromised immune systems e.g. people in regular close contact with patients on treatment for cancer (about 0.5 million people).
4.People aged 65 and over in the current seasonal flu vaccine clinical at-risk groups (about 3.5 million people). This does not include otherwise healthy over 65s, since they appear to have some natural immunity to the virus.

Vaccination of frontline health and social care workers (approximately 2 million people) will begin at the same time as the first at-risk group, and will continue for as long as necessary.

Public Health Message
A new National Pandemic Flu Service has been launched to ensure that people with flu or flu-like symptoms are able to get advice and help. The new service is made up of a dedicated website and call centres which provide people with a quick way to check their symptoms and get access to antiviral drugs. For most people, swine flu is not a serious illness and they should start to feel better after a few days without needing to go to their GP or A&E.

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