Swine flu kills girl, 8

A “HAPPY and healthy” eight-year-old girl has become the first person in Norfolk to die solely as a result from swine flu.

A “HAPPY and healthy” eight-year-old girl has become the first person in Norfolk to die solely as a result from swine flu.

Maisie Price, who lived at The Swale, Bowthorpe, Norwich, died at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on October 12.

Yesterday, an inquest into her death heard that the youngster - who lived with her parents, Kevin Price and Andrea Barrett, and brother Albert - died from the swine flu virus and she had no underlying health problems or medical conditions.

Last night, NHS Norfolk confirmed Maisie's death was the first to be recorded in its area where there were no other underlying conditions identified apart from the infection.

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Greater Norfolk coroner William Armstrong, who recorded a verdict of death by natural causes, said: “My deepest sympathies go to Andrea and Kevin and Maisie's brother Albert.

“It's a tragic and untimely loss of a precious daughter and a youngster who was full of life. Her death was through natural causes and totally unexpected and unavoidable.”

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Pathologist Dr Flora Jessop, who carried out the post-mortem examination and was present at the inquest held in Norwich, said Maisie died from the H1N1 flu virus and had no medical history or underlying conditions that had any bearing on her death.

Maisie's parents were too upset to talk but previously in a statement said they were “devastated that in less than 24 hours their beautiful and energetic daughter was taken from them”.

NHS Norfolk said it was believed the Notre Dame Preparatory School pupil had suffered an “extremely unusual” reaction to the virus which may have been a “major factor”.

Jonathan Cook, NHS Norfolk's director of corporate service, said: “Our first thoughts and sympathies remain very much with Maisie's family.

“It is important to remember that swine flu has proved to be a mild infection in the vast majority of cases, however we should all continue to take precautions to protect ourselves and others.”

He stressed the need for everyone to “Catch It Kill It Bin It” and urged everyone in at-risk groups to have a swine flu vaccination when they are called up by their GP.

There have been seven swine flu deaths in East Anglia since April.

Latest figures show there has been a further increase in cases of the virus across the region during the past week.

If you think that you may have swine flu, you should contact National Pandemic Flu Service for assessment, which is available on 0800 1 513 100, or use the online service at www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu

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