Havering swine flu update: Pregnant woman seriously ill

HEALTH experts are urging vulnerable people to get vaccinated against swine flu after a pregnant woman fell seriously ill.

The numbers of people being treated for flu symptoms at the Queen’s Hospital, Romford, has shot up from the 13 reported on New Year’s Eve to 20.

One person remains in serious condition in a High Dependency Unit, four others are in intensive care with 15 being kept in hospital wards.

Pregnant women, the elderly or anyone with under-lying health issues, such as asthma sufferers, are advised to get in touch with their GPs for flu jabs as numbers could rise as more people return to work and children go back to school.

A Barking, Havering and Redbridge Trust spokeswoman said: “We have treated some seriously ill people.

“Someone has died but swine flu was not the cause of death. They unfortunately had under-lying health issues, but it does bring home the importance of getting the message out about hand hygiene and that at risk people should see their GP for a flu jab.”

Cases of swine flu surged across the country over the past week with 739 people reported to have been in intensive care at the peak and 39 deaths.

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People with flu-like symptoms are warned not to visit A&E and risk spreading the virus but to contact a GP, call NHS Direct or stay at home.

Swine flu symptoms include a fever, coughs, headaches, fatigue, aching muscles and joints, sore throats and a runny nose.

Dr Atul Aggarwal, GP and chairman of the NHS Havering Professional Executive Committee, said: “Those who are at risk are more likely to develop complications as a result of the flu and taking this precaution will help them avoid becoming ill with it.”

Contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647.