"Swine flu almost doubles" is the headline figure from the latest HPA reports on swine flu in the UK. But despite that I think there are reasons to be optimistic. It's easy to concentrate on 'doom and gloom' but with just two more deaths (total now 84) and a slowing down in fatalities, I'd suggest that the health service is doing a good job of containing the worst effects of this virus. Sure, more are getting it but it's generally a mild condition. Other headlines from the HPA report on Week 40:
* Rates remain below the normal winter seasonal baseline thresholds in England and Wales. The threshold has been breached in Scotland, and rates are well above newly defined provisional threshold levels in N. Ireland. In England the highest rates are in the northern regions.
* In England, on 30 September there were 286 hospitalised patients with suspected pandemic influenza, an increase from 218 seven days previously.
* The consultation rates in the RCGP scheme have increased in most age groups (figure 3), with the greatest increases in the 1-4 year-olds (15.7 to 37.8 per 100,000) and 5-14 year-olds (22.6 to 22.4 per 100,000. (5 to 14 age group is down in Scotland but remains high in 0 to 4 age group)