Page last updated at 09:10 GMT, Monday, 24 August 2009 10:10 UK

First swine flu victim had cancer

swine flu virus
A woman with cancer is the first person from NI to die of swine flu

A woman who became the first person in Northern Ireland to die of swine flu had been suffering from cancer for almost five years.

Caroline Hoy from Ahoghill died at Belfast City Hospital on Thursday night.

The mother of two young children had been diagnosed with terminal cancer before she contracted swine flu.

Mrs Hoy was buried after a funeral service at Trinity Presbyterian Church in the County Antrim village on Sunday.

Lee Porter, a soldier from Coleraine, County Londonderry, died from swine flu at a hospital in Surrey on 31 July.

In the Republic of Ireland, two people have died of swine flu.

A man from the east of Ireland died last week. He did not have an apparent underlying medical condition.

Earlier this month, an 18-year-old woman from Sligo died from the virus at Tallaght Hospital. She had an underlying medical condition.


In Northern Ireland, the Department of Education said last week that it had compiled instructions for schools and advice for parents.

If a child shows symptoms, the department said, he or she should be taken from class and isolated from other children while waiting for someone to take them home.

"Because the flu is likely to spread through the community anyway, schools are advised not to close during an outbreak, apart from exceptional circumstances where they cater for children who are particularly vulnerable to infection or are very short of staff," the department said.

The circular to schools said pregnant teachers or those recovering from illness were regarded as an "at risk" group and are told to avoid close contact with swine flu sufferers.

However, the department said pregnant teachers were not at a higher risk in school than in their out-of-work life.

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