A patient at a hospital in Britain has become the first person to die of swine flu in the country, without there being any underlying health problems.
The death in Essex in southest England raises fresh fears about the evolution of the virus. Swine flu had already claimed 14 lives in Britain but this is the first case where the victim was otherwise healthy. People are being urged not to panic. Microbiologist Hugh Pennington said: “The virus still remains a mild virus. People are looking at it very hard to see if it is mutating and it is not. Unfortunately, even in a mild flu season, a few people will have a very bad outcome with flu for reasons we don’t really understand. These are people who have had no previous ill health, nothing wrong with their lungs, not diabetics, not asthmatics, all that kind of thing, but unfortunately the virus just seems to take them very hard.” The World Health Organisation says a global swine flu pandemic is underway. Britain could soon face more than 100,000 new cases a day, according to government projections.