Swine flu claims first UK victim

Monday, June 15, 2009

Yesterday, the first fatality in the UK caused by swine flu was announced. Jacqueline Fleming, who was 38, from Glasgow, Scotland, died at the Royal Alexandria Hospital in Paisley. She had been admitted to hospital two weeks earlier after the premature birth of her baby son, Jack. Reports suggest that she was admitted having suffered a stroke and suffered further complications, in part related to the birth of Jack.

Map of the UK colour coded by severity of H1N1 outbreak, as of 14 June.
Image: AxG.

Professor Hugh Pennington, a bacteriologist at Aberdeen University was quoted as saying that underlying health problems were likely to have been a significant factor in Jaqueline's death. He also dismissed speculation that the virus was getting worse, saying "This is what the authorities have been saying will happen for a long time. It does not point to the virus getting nastier. All the evidence to date suggests the virus is not changing at all."

Her son Jack died today in the special care unit of the same hospital at the age of two weeks, having been born 11 weeks early. He was not affected by the H1N1 virus.

Jaqueline's husband stated today "My beautiful son was born on the first of June 2009, 11 weeks early. He suffered from a number of complications and despite his brave fight he passed away earlier this evening at the Special Care Baby Unit at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley."

On Friday, the Health Protection Agency said confirmed swine flu cases in the UK had reached 1004. Recently, the World Health Organisation declared the outbreak to be a worldwide pandemic.