Winter swine flu toll at 16
Friday 3 Sep 2010 10:21 a.m.
14 more people are still fighting it in hospital
Swine flu has claimed 16 lives this winter, and a further 14 people are fighting it in intensive care units.
Deputy director of public health Darren Hunt said swine flu numbers appeared to be falling but there was regional variation, with areas such as Canterbury still experiencing increased cases.
"The number of calls to Healthline are still higher than normal, though the number of calls requiring assessment of influenza-like illness seems to be decreasing," Dr Hunt said.
"It's still important to seek medical advice early, particularly for people with underlying medical conditions or who are severely overweight or pregnant, as they are at greater risk of a more severe illness."
By midday yesterday, 631 people had been hospitalised with confirmed cases of swine flu.
Pandemic influenza H1N1 is the most common strain circulating in the community, although most people will not be tested for it. For many it is a mild to moderate illness, but for some it can be serious.
Symptoms of influenza can include a high fever, headache, cough, sore throat, tiredness and aching all over.