Page last updated at 17:06 GMT, Thursday, 8 October 2009 18:06 UK

Schoolboy swine flu victim dies

Influenza Virus
The Health Minister said the child had swine flu

A 12-year-old boy who died in the Ulster Hospital was the latest victim of swine flu in Northern Ireland, the health minister has said.

The boy, who was confirmed as having a serious underlying medical condition, died in the Ulster Hospital at Dundonald on Thursday.

He was the second child suffering from the virus to die this week.

A child under the age of three who had been diagnosed with swine flu died on Tuesday.

Sympathy

The child was a patient of the South Eastern Health Trust but no further details have been released.

Health Minister Michael McGimpsey said his thoughts and sympathies were with the family of the 12-year-old.

"I would ask everyone to respect the privacy of the family at this very sad time," he said.

"Incidents of swine flu in Northern Ireland remain high and we must expect further increases in cases in the weeks ahead.

"Swine flu remains a major public health threat but we are well prepared and have been planning for a pandemic for some time."

Swine flu has now claimed the lives of six Northern Ireland people.

Four died in Northern Ireland while a TA soldier died in England and a woman succumbed to the virus in Barcelona, Spain.



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