Page last updated at 07:10 GMT, Thursday, 15 October 2009 08:10 UK

Fourth swine flu death confirmed

Man with hankerchief (generic)
Health chiefs say more swine flu-related deaths in Wales are inevitable

Wales' chief medical officer has warned that more swine-flu related deaths are inevitable as he confirmed a fourth death over the past week.

Two other women, including a young mother, have also died from the virus in recent days.

Dr Tony Jewell said higher risks groups included young children, pregnant women and those with underlying conditions.

After only one swine flu-related death over the summer, the latest cases have come in quick succession.

One of the victims confirmed over the last week was a 21-year-old mother from Monmouthshire.

The pregnant woman was admitted to Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny, for a planned caesarean section on 25 September.

15 August: Woman, 55, from Caerphilly county
7 October: Woman, 43, dies at Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli - swine flu not main cause of death
9 October: Woman, 21, from Monouthshire, dies shortly after giving birth
October: Woman, 41, from Neath Port Talbot, found dead at home. She had underlying conditions

The baby was delivered safely and remains well, but the mother was transferred to intensive care after her condition worsened. She died on 9 October after being transferred to a specialist lung unit in Leicester.

Two days earlier, a 43-year-old woman died at Llanelli's Prince Philip Hospital, although doctors have said she did not die primarily from swine flu.

A fourth death, of a woman, 41, from Neath Port Talbot, is now also being investigated. The post mortem examination found swine flu and underlying conditions.

Currently 16 people with swine flu were in hospital in Wales, with three of them in critical care.

Dr Jewell said: "As we've said before, the vast majority of people who do die with swine flu have what we referring to as underlying conditions and they tend to be chronic heart/lung disease and so on.

"Pregnancy we know is a risk factor for swine flu and, sadly, one of these cases is someone who had been pregnant."

He said Wales expected to take delivery of its first swine flu vaccines next week with a programme of vaccinations beginning by the end of October, with people in high risk groups being targeted.

He added that health and social care workers who were at risk of meeting patients with swine flu would also be offered the vaccine.

The first Welsh person to suffer a swine-flu related death was a 55-year-old woman from Caerphilly county on 15 August.

BBC Wales' health correspondent Hywel Griffiths said the number of cases of people reporting flu-like symptoms stood at around 1,400.

Latest figures show there have been 89 swine flu-related deaths in the rest of the UK - 76 in England, 10 in Scotland and three in Northern Ireland. The majority had underlying health conditions

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