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Blitz’ spirit tackles invasion of East End’s swine flu

PUBLISHED: 15:50 20 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:35 05 October 2010

Andy Burnham with Alwen Williams (right) and Dr Douglas Russell

Andy Burnham with Alwen Williams (right) and Dr Douglas Russell

THE wartime spirit’ of London’s East End was praised by Health Secretary Andy Burnham today for coping with the highest number of cases of swine flu in Britain. He dropped into Mile End this morning to see the anti-viral centre which was one of the first in the country to dispense Tamiflu

By Gemma Collins

THE wartime spirit’ of London’s East End was praised by Health Secretary Andy Burnham today for coping with the highest number of cases of swine flu in Britain.

He arrived at Mile End this morning to see an anti-viral centre which has been set up, one of the first in the country to dispense Tamiflu to sufferers.

The centre was “an excellent example” to the rest of the country, he said in praise of staff pulling together’ and working efficiently.

COMERADERIE

Alwen Williams, NHS Tower Hamlets’ Chief Executive, has compared the swine flu response to the camaraderie during the Second World War.

“It is a bit like the Blitz,” she said. “Everybody in the community is pulling together with the flu friend scheme. It shows society at its best.”

Flu friends’ of patients have been picking up prescriptions of Tamiflu from the centre for those at home with the virus.

More than 400 patients a day are ringing surgeries in Tower Hamlets with suspected swine flu and 84 people out of every 100,000 have reported needing anti-viral drugs.

The high figures have been blamed on the densely populated area, with overcrowded households and a high number of young people who are more likely to catch the disease.


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