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10 February 2011

Swine Flu Alert on Schools

Britain is on the brink of a ‘children’s epidemic’ of swine flu as schools and nurseries reopen this week. Doctors warned last night the outbreak – already one of the worst in a decade – could ‘explode’ as at least nine million pupils return to their desks after the Christmas break.
Hot and crowded classrooms provide the perfect breeding ground for flu, which has claimed 39 lives since October, including 11 under-15s.

Fears: Doctors believe there could be a 'children's epidemic' of swine flu when schools and nurseries re-open. Some anxious parents are even threatening to keep children at home.
Professor Steve Field, former chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, warned it will be ‘when people go back to work and school that we will, I suspect, see the sharpest rise, when we really see this become the children’s epidemic’.
And Professor John Oxford, Britain’s leading flu expert, said: ‘We can expect the number of cases to keep going up, possibly reaching epidemic levels before it peaks in the next two to four weeks.
The number of intensive care patients with suspected flu has risen dramatically in the past week to 738. In some hospitals, half the adult intensive care beds are taken up by flu victims, leading to routine operations being cancelled. International evidence suggests that up to 15 per cent of those treated for swine flu in intensive care die.

 If the 738 receiving treatment are suffering from swine flu, that could mean 100 more fatalities. Hospitals are also running out of children’s intensive care beds, with seriously ill babies forced to travel up to 100miles for treatment.
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