Swine flu: NI boy in 'serious but stable' condition

Three years ago an outbreak of swine flu killed almost 30 people in Northern Ireland. Three years ago an outbreak of swine flu killed almost 30 people in Northern Ireland

A primary school child from east Belfast diagnosed with swine flu is said to be in a "serious but stable condition".

It's understood that the boy, who is six years old, became unwell at the weekend and was admitted to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

On Monday, he was transferred to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill in Glasgow.

A hospital spokesperson said the family wish to make no further comment.

Swine Flu Symptoms

Typical symptoms:

  • Sudden fever (38C or above) and sudden cough
  • Other symptoms include:
  • 1. Tiredness and chills
  • 2. Headache, sore throat, runny nose and sneezing
  • 3. Stomach upset, loss of appetite, diarrhoea
  • 4. Aching muscles, limb or joint pain

Source: NHS

It is unclear whether the virus was picked up in Northern Ireland but the BBC understands the boy's family had previously travelled outside the country.

Three years ago an outbreak of swine flu killed almost 30 people in Northern Ireland.

The majority of those who died had underlying health issues. Many more people were struck by the virus, but recovered.

Twenty people in Northern Ireland have currently been diagnosed with swine flu, according to the Public Health Agency.

BBC Northern Ireland's health correspondent Marie-Louise Connolly said: "H1N1, or swine flu, is now considered, and is being treated, like any other strain of the flu virus.

"Back in 2009, when we first heard of swine flu, it was a completely different scenario.

"They didn't have a vaccine widely available to tackle the virus. Over the last five years all that has changed."

She pointed out that it was "not an epidemic".

"For that to be declared there has to be 52 people per 100,000 people affected," she said.

Our correspondent said in the case of the Belfast boy an important factor to consider would be if the child had any underlying health issues, such as asthma.

The health trust said they did not comment on individual cases.

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