MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2018

Flu death toll in U.K. hits 112

The government of the United Kingdom recently announced that a total of 112 people have died from influenza since September.

That figure is up 50 from the number reported last week, according to the Guardian.

Meanwhile, the number of people in critical care situations has fallen from 783 to 661 since last week. These latest figures have come in a day after the mother of a three-year-old swine flu victim urged the government to change its policies on vaccination.

Gemma Ameen and her husband, Zana, were forced to take their daughter off of life support the day after Christmas, two days after she fell ill with what appeared to be a cold, the Guardian reports.

In a bid to change the government’s policy on who is allowed to receive the seasonal flu vaccine that combats the H1N1 virus, Ameen distributed pictures of her daughter hooked up to life support devices.

The Department of Health insisted that independent expert advice made it clear that those children without risk factors present should not be vaccinated. The policy and advice had been recently reviewed and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization had not changed its stance, according to the Department of Health.

The government began the distribution of leftover stocks of last year’s Pandremix swine flu vaccine on Monday. On Wednesday, some 200,500 doses had been ordered by health trusts and general practitioners. A total of 185,000  doses have been sent so far.

Dame Salley Davies, the interim chief medical officer for the government, said that the death of Lana Ameen was a tragedy.

"As a pediatrician, I've seen deaths like this and they are horribly painful for the family concerned and the family lives with it forever,” she said, according to the Guardian. “I want to offer my condolences to all families who have lost a loved one."