Swine Flu Report
This report from NHS West Midlands shows that the number of people with flu-like illness is increasing across the region.
Across the West Midlands there has been an increase in patients presenting at primary care centres with influenza-like symptoms, this is not impacting on normal service delivery. The number of people with swine flu admitted to hospitals in West Midlands has increased this week, as have the number admitted to critical care, although as a proportion of hospital admissions this is still low and not impinging normal activity.
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 an increase for the week ending 4th October 2009, across England, West Midlands, but a decrease within Birmingham East and North.
The reported rate of GP consultations per 100,000 population within the West Midlands for the week was 29.5 (compared with 23.3 for the previous week).
West Midlands average 29.5 (per 100,000)
England rate 28.5 (per 100,000)
NHS Birmingham East and North 22.4 (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 1st October to 7th October 2009 is 82. As of 7th October, there were 47 people in hospital.
Number of Swine Flu Related Deaths
There have been no swine flu-related deaths reported since our previous update. The total number of deaths for the region remains at nine.
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): 134,862
Total number of antivirals collected (West Midlands): 63,913
There are a small number of schools across the West Midlands reporting absenteeism in children with flu like symptoms since the beginning of the Autumn term. In some of these schools, swine flu has been confirmed. This is not unexpected and our surveillance and early warning systems have been helpful in identifying these cases. Every school and early years setting in the West Midlands has now been provided with swine flu information and advice.
Public Health Message
A 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 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.
National announcements this week
Don’t Underestimate Seasonal Flu – Remember to get your Annual Flu jab
The Department of Health has launched its annual seasonal flu vaccination campaign. Everyone aged over 65 is routinely offered the jab, as are younger people with long term conditions. The campaign urges people, with all the coverage of Swine Flu, not to forget about getting their normal annual flu jab.