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Swine flu claims its first winter victim in the East End

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:15 05 October 2010

SWINE flu in the East End could cost the NHS more than £500,000 it emerged this week, as the virus claimed its first victim this winter in Tower Hamlets. Health bosses at NHS Tower Hamlets have set aside £500,000 to cover the costs for the second wave

SWINE flu in the East End could cost the NHS more than £500,000 it emerged this week, as the virus claimed its first victim this winter in Tower Hamlets.

Health bosses at NHS Tower Hamlets have set aside £500,000 to cover the costs for the 'second wave' of the virus after the borough battled with the highest number of swine flu cases in the country when it hit in July.

According to a report by the primary care trust's Chief Executive Alwen Williams, which was discussed by the trust's board last week, the borough is starting to see a "significant increase in flu-like cases" in the adult population.

At the end of October, there was one death due to flu at the Royal London Hospital - the first since the summer's pandemic when four died.

Health chiefs insist they have not yet seen the same sudden peak in flu-like cases which struck the borough in the summer, when there were 2,590 cases reported in just two weeks.

But the number of cases could increase over Christmas.

Ms Williams said: "We will shortly need to make a decision on whether to step up to the next level of support which includes extending hours and adding more staff to the anti-viral collection points.

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