Swine flu death toll rises to 16 in Britain

A patient from London has died after contracting swine flu taking the number of swine flu related deaths in the UK to 16, it was announced today.

A spokesman for NHS London said no further details about the death would be released until the afternoon.

It comes after the first British patient without underlying health problems died on Friday after contracting swine flu.

Earlier in the day, it was disclosed that the swine flu virus sweeping the country had reached Downing Street. It is understood that Gordon Brown’s adviser on climate change, Michael Jacobs, has been infected.

It is thought that he may have contracted the virus during a recent visit to Mexico where the global outbreak originated.

He is not thought to have had any direct contact with the Prime Minister since developing the symptoms two weeks ago.

Nevertheless, Mr Jacobs was required to stay away from last week’s G8 summit in L’Aquila, in Italy, for fear that he could spread the infection to other delegations. Instead, he followed the negotiations by telephone.

A No 10 spokesman said last night: “There has been extensive preparation in Downing Street and across the Civil Service to minimise the spread of swine flu.

“The Cabinet Office has issued guidance to personnel managers in all departments and comprehensive information is available to civil servants on how to deal with suspected cases.”

Nearly 10,000 Britons have been confirmed with swine flu after it spread to the UK from Mexico. However, hundreds of thousands more people in the UK are thought to have the virus.

The total number of cases in the country are now being estimated rather than counted individually.

The UK has the third highest case total in the world after Mexico, which has 10,262 cases, and the US, which has at least 33,902.


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