Number of new H1N1 flu cases in England doubles
LONDON (Reuters) - The government launched a national telephone and online flu advice service on Thursday, saying it hoped it would help deal with some of the estimated 100,000 new cases of the H1N1 pandemic virus each week.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said the estimated number of H1N1 flu cases nearly doubled to 100,000 last week in England but the number of deaths remained stable.
Last week, an estimated 55,000 news cases of the virus were recorded in England, with the majority of a mild nature. But some 31 people suffering from the virus have died in Britain during the outbreak.
According to the HPA, there are now 840 people in England in hospital with the virus, of whom 63 are in intensive care.
The worst affected age groups are 0 to 5 year-olds and 5 to 14 year-olds, groups which the government's Chief Medical Officer Liam Donaldson described as "super-spreaders."
The National Flu Pandemic Service is designed to speed up access to drugs for thousands of infected patients who will be able to get diagnosis and prescriptions online and via the telephone.
It is being staffed by around 1,500 call centre staff who will ask callers a series of questions about their symptoms.
Those 1,500 staff are expected to be able to handle around 200,000 calls a day, according to the Department of Health.
The telephone number for the National Pandemic Flu Service is 0800 1513 100 and the website address www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu
(Reporting by Kate Kelland. Editing by Avril Ormsby)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this