Seventeen people have died from flu so far this winter and 14 of these deaths have been linked to H1N1 – swine flu.
Unusually for flu, a high proportion of deaths have occurred in the under 65s, figures from the Health Protection Agency show. Six of the victims have been under 18.
The reason for the unusual age distribution of deaths is that swine flu is predominantly responsible. H1N1 is more likely to affect younger people than seasonal flu. Influenza B, has been responsible for three of the deaths.
At least eight of the 17 fatal cases were from “at-risk” groups with underlying health problems such as diabetes or asthma. HPA information on 14 of the victims shows none had received a flu jab last year or during this flu season, despite half being eligible for vaccination.
Watch the BBC news report on swine flu.