Page last updated at 05:54 GMT, Friday, 28 August 2009 06:54 UK

Swine flu anti-virals fall by 50%

Woman sneezing
The number of new cases of swine flu have fallen again in the past week

Anti-viral prescriptions for swine flu in Northern Ireland have fallen to 577 from 1,059 over the last week, the Department of Health has said.

The Department said GP consultations for flu have fallen, but they remain significantly higher than last year.

So far 47 people have received hospital treatment in NI for swine flu, with nine admissions last week.

There were 25 new cases of confirmed swine flu during the week, with 145 confirmed since the outbreak began.

There has been one death related to swine flu.

NI's Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride said the number of GP contacts had fallen for the third week in a row.

"Primary care services continue to cope well despite the increased demand on their services," she said.

"If you think you have swine flu stay at home, please do not visit your GP practice, pharmacy or A&E in person.

Symptoms

"People with underlying health conditions who are at higher risk of complications if they develop influenza should call their GP for advice and assessment for antivirals.

"This includes people with long-term conditions such as diabetes or chronic lung disease. In addition, pregnant women who develop flu-like symptoms should phone their GP promptly. Likewise, parents of children under five years should call their doctor if their child develops flu-like symptoms."

Across the UK the number of new cases of swine-flu are falling.

Department of Health figures show that in the past week there were 5,000 infections in England - compared to over 100,000 at the start of the month.

However, the UK's Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson said the NHS and wider public must not be lulled into thinking the worst had passed.

"The health service needs to be on top of its game.

"It is normally a mild illness, but for some it continues to be very serious.

"We don't know what will happen next, but our best guess is that we will get some kind of rise during our flu season."



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