Tuesday, 01 December 2009 06:05
The NPHS influenza surveillance scheme, which records reports of diagnoses of flu from more than 300 GP practices across Wales, shows that the rate of influenza consultation remains stable. Further detail can be found on the NPHS website.
-- The report from 26 November estimates there were 41.4 cases of a flu-like illness diagnosed by GPs out of every 100,000 people in Wales - this is the equivalent of 1,242 people in Wales contacting their GPs in the last seven days with flu like symptoms. Not all of these people will have swine flu and not everyone with flu like symptoms will contact their GP.
-- The report also shows levels of influenza activity in each county of Wales. On 26 November, the rate of diagnosis of flu-like illness at a local level ranged from 22.7 per 100,000 people in Conwy to 80.3 per 100,000 people in Carmarthenshire.
-- GPs are no longer being asked to swab people they suspect may have swine flu. Microbiology laboratories are therefore no longer testing most people suspected of having swine flu.
-- The latest weekly swine flu report from the NPHS and Welsh Assembly Government, containing information on laboratory-confirmed cases of swine flu, hospitalised cases and swine flu-related deaths, can be found online. A new report is issued every Thursday.
-- The rates of GP consultations for flu-like illness across the UK, which are taken from different surveillance schemes and are not directly comparable, are:
- 39.0 cases of flu like illness diagnosed by GPs in the previous seven days out of every 100,000 people in Wales (as of 25 November).
- 39.2 cases of flu like illness diagnosed by GPs in the previous seven days out of every 100,000 people in England (for the week ending 22 November)
- 119.9 cases of flu like illness diagnosed by GPs out of every 100,000 people in Scotland (for the week ending 22 November)
- 91.9 cases of flu like illness diagnosed by GPs out of every 100,000 people in Northern Ireland (for the week ending 20 November)
-- 241 people in the UK with swine flu have died - 23 in Wales, 163 in England, 42 in Scotland and 13 in Northern Ireland. The majority had underlying health conditions.
-- For the latest international figures for the spread of swine flu, visit the website of the World Health Organization at http://www.who.int
Comment from the National Public Health Service for Wales
-- Dr Roland Salmon, Director of the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, National Public Health Service for Wales, said:
"The number of people contacting their GP with flu symptoms across Wales as a whole remains stable at a level that we would expect to see at this time of year. Nevertheless, flu is still circulating so I still strongly advise people to be aware of the symptoms of swine flu and of the steps that can be taken to prevent its spread.
"The vaccine against swine flu is now being offered to people at most risk of complications from the virus as well as front line health and social care workers. Vaccination is the most effective tool we have in preventing swine flu so I urge people identified as being at risk to look out for their invitation to be vaccinated by their GP surgery.
"People with flu-like symptoms should stay at home, observe good respiratory and hand hygiene and stay away from GP surgeries, Accident and Emergency departments and pharmacies unless advised to attend, which will also help to limit the infection's spread.
"People with flu like symptoms should check their symptoms on http://www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk.
"Most people will get better at home with rest, plenty of fluids, and medication such as paracetamol. Antiviral medications are available for individuals who are at particular risk from flu, or for people who become very ill.
"If symptoms worsen or people have underlying health problems they should call their GP. Most people make a full recovery from swine flu without needing to call a doctor or to be admitted to hospital. However, a few people go on to develop complications and as the pandemic continues we are seeing deaths from swine flu in Wales, just as we do most years from seasonal flu."
National Public Health Service for Wales