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Swine Flu fortnightly report

This report from NHS West Midlands shows that the rate of new cases of swine flu has begun to increase across the region. Information provided indicates current impact on the local services.

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 and there has not been an increase in cases admitted to hospital in the last 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 20 September 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 15 (compared with 11.9 for the previous week).

West Midlands average 15.0 (per 100,000)
England and Wales rates 16.5 (per 100,000)
NHS Birmingham East and North 18.9 (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 17 September to 23 September 2009 is 37. As of 23 September, there were 11 people in hospital.

Number of Swine Flu Related Deaths
There have been no swine flu-related deaths reported since our previous report. 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): 121,632
Total number of antivirals collected (West Midlands): 57,549

Schools
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
The 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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