Health authorities in the UK have sent condolences to the family of the first person in Europe to die of swine-flu, but they have tried to reassure the public that the outbreak is under control.
38-year-old Jacqueline Fleming died at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley near Glasgow in Scotland. Media reports say she had given birth prematurely two weeks ago, though Scotland’s Health Ministry would say only that she had pre-existing health problems. Scottish Health Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Any death is a tragedy. It’s sad, but important to stress to the public the death of this patient doesn’t mean the virus has become more serious.” The UK government has been running a widespread campaign to keep the spread of the H1N1 in check. Britain has recorded 1200 cases, the highest in Europe, but health officials stress that the vast majority of those have suffered no complications. The World Health Organisation has already said the spread of the Influenza A virus warrants description as a pandemic and has called on drugs companies to hurry with the mass production of a vaccine.