NHS in West Essex expects a sharp increase in swine flu cases next month

NHS staff in West Essex are bracing themselves for a sharp increase in cases of Swine Flu forecasted for the middle of next month.Speaking at a public meeting on Tuesday night, head of primary care commissioning, Tracy Manzi, said that antiviral drugs ha

NHS staff in West Essex are bracing themselves for a sharp increase in cases of Swine Flu forecasted for the middle of next month.

Speaking at a public meeting on Tuesday night, head of primary care commissioning, Tracy Manzi, said that antiviral drugs had been stockpiled ahead of what is likely to be a very busy time for doctors and nurses across the area.

She said: "At its peak in the summer, around 200 people a day were coming into the Epping centre for antiviral drugs. This has now dipped to around 12 but we are fully expecting the numbers to rise to that level again during October."

Mrs Manzi added: "Delivery of the new vaccine is the main issue at the moment, it could be that we set up dedicated centres, or that people could drop into their GPs and receive it there.


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"We have to see how much the vaccine delivery for each situation would cost."

At first the vaccine will only be for the 'at risk' section of the local population, such as the under fives, the over 65s, pregnant women and people with serious underlying health problems.

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Once a Government recommended target of 70 per cent has been reached, everyone else can start to receive the vaccine.

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