Numbers treated with flu anti-virals in East End rises

THE number of people in Tower Hamlets receiving anti-viral drugs for flu has almost doubled, the latest figures show.

The Health Protection Agency’s most recent survey on flu cases across the country showed that virus rates across Tower Hamlets actually dropped last week, while the use of medications to treat people rose.

The most recent figures from the week ending December 27 showed that 21 people were treated with anti-virals across the borough – up from 13 the previous week.

The numbers with flu-like illness dropped to 198 from 212 the week before.

The rate of infection per 100,000 people in Tower Hamlets also dropped to 111, down from 130.

Just under half the borough’s GP surgeries took part in the survey.

But some fear flu cases this week could rise as schoolchildren have gone back to school.

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The figures could have seen a dip last week because of the Christmas break - a time when people are less likely to go to their GP.

NHS Tower Hamlets today urged pregnant women to get vaccinated amid fears that many are ignoring the serious health risks they could face if they catch swine flu and other types of the virus.

Dr Theodora Kalentzi, deputy medical director, said: “The vaccine has been thoroughly tested and the evidence suggests that the flu vaccine is safe for pregnant women and there is no evidence of this type of vaccine doing any harm at all during pregnancy.”

NHS Tower Hamlets also said it had plenty of vaccines in stock, as reports emerged that some surgeries across London had run out.