Page last updated at 13:16 GMT, Thursday, 17 December 2009

Nine-year-old with swine flu dies in Northern Ireland

Influenza Virus
Fewer people have been contacting their GPs about flu symptoms

A nine-year-old child in Northern Ireland who had swine flu has died.

The death of the child, who had underlying health conditions, was announced in the Department of Health's weekly swine flu update.

Health Minister Michael McGimpsey expressed his "sincere sympathy" to the child's family.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride said the child's death was a "tragic reminder that the swine flu virus is still prevalent".

To date, 16 people from Northern Ireland who had swine flu have died. Fourteen of them died in Northern Ireland, one in England and one in Spain.

Meanwhile, GP consultation rates for flu or flu-like symptoms decreased by 19% in the past week.

Four people received hospital treatment for swine flu in the past week, down from nine in the previous week.

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