Inquiry into suspected Suffolk swine flu death

AN investigation is underway to ascertain whether the death of a Suffolk man in his 40s was caused by swine flu.

Laurence Cawley

AN investigation is underway to ascertain whether the death of a man in his 40s was caused by swine flu.

Managers at the West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, have confirmed that NHS East of England had been alerted to a suspected death from swine flu.

Little is known about the case other than that it involves a man thought to be 40 years of age who was in good health prior to being taken into the Hardwick Lane hospital.

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Efforts to establish the exact cause of the man's death are currently being made.

The death has been referred to the coroner's office in Bury where a decision will be made as to whether an inquest will be held.

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The most recent figures released by NHS East of England reveal seven people have died in the eastern region as a result of swine flu - however the organisation has refused to state in which counties these deaths took place claiming to do so would jeopardise patient confidentiality.

Figures from the National Pandemic Flu Service show more than 700 people in Suffolk were given special access numbers which allow them to collect anti-virals to treat possible swine flu.

A spokeswoman for the hospital, where 300 of more than 2,000 workers have so far been vaccinated against swine 'flu, said all cases of possible swine flu had to be reported to NHS East of England and confirmed the death of the man in his 40s was one of those cases.

A spokesperson from NHS East of England said: “NHS East of England is aware of this sad death. The case is currently with the coroner's office and until we know the cause of death, we cannot comment any further.”

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