Adult H1N1 swine flu death takes Northern Ireland death toll to seventeen

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Department of Health in Northern Ireland announced the death of an adult with the H1N1 'swine flu' virus. The gender of the adult who died is currently unknown. The obituary was discovered in the swine flu information update provided by the Department of Health weekly.

The death of this adult brings the total number of people who have died from swine flu in Northern Ireland up to 17, not including the two people who were from the area but were outside Northern Ireland at the time of their deaths from the disease, as of January 6. Michael McGimpsey, who is the Health Minister in Northern Ireland, announced: "Sadly, we have been notified of a further swine flu related death in an adult. I would like to express my sincere sympathy to the family and would ask everyone to respect their privacy and allow them to grieve for their loved one in peace."

Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell, who is the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, talked about the H1N1 swine flu virus. She said: "Swine flu has now been circulating within Northern Ireland since May 2009. We have seen two waves of infection from the virus and our planning and preparation has meant that the likelihood of a further wave has been significantly reduced. This is due in part to the extent in which the virus has already circulated in the community, and also as a result of the very successful vaccination programme in Northern Ireland. We know from experience of previous pandemics that flu viruses can be unpredictable so we can not completely rule out the possibility of a further wave. We will therefore continue to monitor the situation carefully and adapt our plans accordingly. The vaccine remains the best way to be protected against swine flu."