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Page last updated at 17:43 GMT, Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Mother urges action after daughter dies from swine flu
By Chris Bennett
BBC Sussex

Brittany Eastland
Brittany Eastland died from pneumonia caused by swine flu

"Don't think being fit and healthy will protect you. My daughter was fit and healthy too."

Sharon Boor's daughter Brittany wasn't in a risk group for swine flu, nor did she have any underlying conditions.

But NHS tests show that the nine-year-old died from pneumonia as a result of swine flu.

Her mother is urging other parents to ensure that they keep their children safe. "People can't be complacent." said Mrs Boor.

Brittany, from Three Bridges, in West Sussex, died on 18 October at East Surrey Hospital.

"Everyone should accept the swine flu vaccine if you are offered it. It doesn't just protect you, it protects your loved ones around you," said Mrs Boor.

"Everyone should have it, especially for their children. The vaccine may give you a sore arm or other minor side-effects but it is nothing compared to the alternative and what I am going through now." she said.

Peter Hayward, who heads the West Sussex team charged with tackling swine flu, said the risk of dying swine flu was "still very low" but that for some people it could still be a very serious illness.

Microbiology Professor Hugh Pennington says parents 'should not be worried'.

He said that there were good supplies of vaccine coming into the country at the moment and that the vaccine was being targeted at those who were most at risk.

"In most cases we have got good supplies at the moment. We are able to call up not unlimited supplies but certainly enough for all of the planned clinics that we have in place," said Mr Hayward.

"I would urge anyone who is called for vaccination to take up that offer." he added.

Professor Hugh Pennington, an expert in microbiology, said parents "should not be worried,".

"It's a very rare event for this kind of very tragic circumstance to happen when..there are no previous problems with, say, the lungs or the heart," he said.

Brittany was a Year 5 pupil at Three Bridges Junior School in Crawley. Claire Tiley, the Headteacher, said that all of the school would: "miss her smile and friendly face,"

The swine flu virus
The swine flu virus. Sharon Boor says 'don't be complacent'.

"She was a gentle natured, lovely girl, a model pupil. She was trusted and respected by her peers and was caring and considerate to the children in her class and those she worked with. She had a great relationship with all the adults at school. She will be sadly missed by the whole school community," said Ms Tiley.

The main symptoms of swine flu are fever, tiredness, lack of appetite, coughing, sore throat, pain in muscles and joints, headache and chills and in some cases vomiting and diarrhoea.

You can find out more about swine flu on the BBC website If you are unwell with any of these symptoms, you should stay at home and contact the National Pandemic Flu Service for further advice by phone on 0800 1 513 100.

If you, or your child, has a serious underlying illness, is under one year old, are pregnant, or if their condition suddenly gets much worse, you should contact your doctor directly.



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