Swine flu rate may have hit plateau
The number of swine flu cases "may have plateaued", with 110,000 new cases in England last week, the Government has said.
The data represents a 10% rise on the 100,000 new cases estimated in the previous weeks.
The current death total linked to the virus for England is 27, while 793 patients are being treated in hospital, fewer than the 840 of last week.
What is unclear from the latest figures is how much of an impact was made the launch of the National Pandemic Flu Service for England. Rather than calling their GP, people with swine flu are now being urged to contact a helpline or receive a diagnosis online.
The Government said producing reliable estimates is "very challenging" due to the move from GP consultations to the National Pandemic Flu Service.
The start of the school summer holidays is also thought to be reflected in the figures. There has been a decrease in the estimated number of cases among children aged five to 14, while the data showed a rise in the other age groups and in the North of England.
There is no sign that the virus is changing or becoming resistant to anti-viral drugs like Tamiflu, this week's update said.
Four people in Scotland have died after contracting swine flu.
Thursday's figures come after it emerged that a British schoolgirl with the virus is fighting for her life in a Greek hospital. Natasha Newman, 16, from Highgate in north London, is in a "very serious" condition in an intensive care unit in Athens after falling ill while holidaying on the island of Cephalonia.
https://www.pandemicflu.direct.gov.uk/(National Pandemic Flu Service)