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Swine Flu Report

This report from NHS West Midlands shows that the number of people with flu-like illness is increasing across the region.

Key Messages
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.

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 18 October 2009, across England and the West Midlands, but no change within Birmingham East and North from the previous week.

The reported rate of GP consultations per 100,000 population within the West Midlands for the week was 39.6 (compared with 33.5 for the previous week).

West Midlands average 39.6 (per 100,000)
England and Wales rate 36.0 (per 100,000)
NHS Birmingham East and North 35.5 (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 15 October to 21 October 2009 is 113. As of 21 October, there were 51 people in hospital, 16% of which are in critical care.

Number of Swine Flu Related Deaths
There have been four swine flu-related deaths reported in the last two weeks since our previous report. This means that the number of total deaths where there has been a positive test of swine flu in the West Midlands is thirteen.

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 1 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): 158,091
Total number of antivirals collected (West Midlands): 76,052

Vaccination Programme
This week NHS Hospitals have begun vaccinating frontline healthcare workers. Around two million frontline health and social care workers will be offered the vaccine. This group is at increased risk of infection and of transmitting that infection to susceptible patients.

The vaccination programme will be rolled out over the next few weeks with GP surgeries receiving deliveries from Monday (26 October). The following at risk groups will be prioritised in the following order:

People aged over six months and under 65 years in current seasonal flu vaccine clinical at risk groups.
All pregnant women.
Household contacts of people with compromised immune systems e.g. people in regular close contact with patients on treatment for cancer.
People aged 65 and over in the current seasonal flu vaccine clinical at risk groups. This does not include otherwise healthy over 65s, since they appear to have some natural immunity to the virus.

Patients will be contacted by their GPs if they fall into one of the at risk categories.

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.

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