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Summary

  1. Updates for Thursday 18 February 2016
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Amy Woodfield

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Today's updates have now finished but we'll be back from 08:00 tomorrow with the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

Tonight's weather: Chilly but dry

BBC Weather

We're expecting conditions to stay cold and largely clear overnight with lows of 1C (34F).

Royal commentary 'non league prince to Premier League king'

Amy Woodfield

BBC Local Live

If you haven't heard this yet it's worth it for a laugh... 

Michael Sheen copies Ian Stringer's Leicester City commentary as Richard III.

Tuilagi and Slater in the side to face Harlequins

BBC Leicester Sport

Manu Tuilagi has recovered from his groin injury and will start for the Leicester Tigers tomorrow in their game against Harlequins.

There's no place for Tom Youngs, who hasn't recovered from a back injury.

Manu Tuilagi
Getty Images

Ed Slater returns in the second row to captain the side, while Brendon O'Connor and Laurence Pearce start in the back row.

Jean De Viliers is named as one of the replacements and could make his debut for the club.

Latest Leicestershire headlines

Amy Woodfield

BBC Local Live

Hinckley driver clocked at 149mph on M6 Toll

Dramatic footage of a Hinckley man driving at up to 149mph on the M6 Toll has been released.

Thomas Allsopp, 24, from Roston Drive, was caught by West Midlands Police as he drove an Audi A8 on 27 December 2015. 

Allsopp, who was uninsured and had just a provisional licence, is seen weaving in and out of traffic. 

He admitted dangerous driving and other motoring offences and was given an eight-month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months at Birmingham Crown Court. 

'Reckless driver' clocked at 149mph on M6 toll

Leicestershire family 'distraught' as search for son continues

Amy Woodfield

BBC Local Live

Prayers are being said at a church in Hinckley for missing Tim and Rachel. 

Tim Newton is originally from Leicestershire, his parents live in Stapleton, and are active members of Saint Johns Church in Hinckley.

Saint Johns Church in Hinckley
BBC

Chris and Kath Newton are said to be "distraught" while they wait for news.

Search resumes for missing climbers

Amy Woodfield

BBC Local Live

The search for missing Tim Newton and Rachel Slater has continued on Ben Nevis.

The risk of avalanches has hampered efforts to make a ground search.

Search helicopter on Ben Nevis
Getty Images

Flu levels lower than last year

James Gallagher

BBC News Website, Health Editor

There will be concern for these patients as cancer treatment can weaken the immune system, making it harder to fight infection.

After the 2009 pandemic, the winter flu jab was upgraded to give protection against swine flu so anyone who was immunised this flu season should have some protection.

And so far flu viruses are circulating at lower levels in the UK than last year.

Swine flu affects eight UK hospitals

James Gallagher

BBC News Website, Health Editor

Swine flu caused a pandemic in 2009 when the virus jumped from animals into people and then spread rapidly around the world.

Since then things have calmed down and it has joined the pantheon of other flus that lead to outbreaks every winter.

In the past seven days, 31 outbreaks of swine flu were reported in the UK -including eight in hospitals.

Despite still being known as "swine flu" - there's nothing special about it and it is no more or less scary than other types of flu.

Swine flu patients 'responding well'

Amy Woodfield

BBC Local Live

The hospital has released another statement following their meeting this afternoon.

They say the number of patients with confirmed H1N1 influenza remains at 14 and staff were working effectively to contain the infection.

Centrifuge Tubes
Thinkstock

They said patients were responding well to anti-viral medication and another update on the patients' condition will be given tomorrow morning.  

Swine flu figures clarified

Amy Woodfield

BBC Local Live

I've just had a call from staff at Leicester Royal Infirmary confirming the number of patients on the haematology wards with swine flu is 14 not 16.

The spokesperson from Public Health England says he got his figures mixed up.

H1N1 virus
Thinkstock

This number is not expected to rise but we will be getting more information on this from the hospital soon.  

Dozens of flu outbreaks across England

According to the latest Public Health England data, 40 flu outbreaks were reported in the week ending February 7.

Tissue
BBC

A total of 22 of these were in schools, with two testing positive for swine flu, while 16 outbreaks were in care homes and two in hospitals.  

What is swine flu?

The swine flu virus is:

  • A respiratory disease, caused by a strain of the influenza type A virus known as H1N1
  • H1N1 is the same strain which causes seasonal outbreaks of flu in humans on a regular basis
  • Although the strain may have originated in pigs, it is now a wholly human disease
  • It can be spread from person to person by coughing and sneezing

Staff wearing masks after swine flu outbreak

The trust, which runs the LRI, said staff were following guidelines to prevent the risk of infection by wearing masks, gowns and gloves and washing hands regularly. 

A spokesperson said "as many frontline staff as possible" were being vaccinated and wards 39, 40 and 41 have "received increased cleaning". 

Swine flu outbreak: 'All necessary precautions taken'

Liz Collins, lead nurse for infection prevention at Leicester's Hospitals, said: "We have seen an increase in the number of flu cases in February, in both the community and across our hospital sites.

"All necessary precautions were taken and these patients have been isolated to avoid an outbreak.

"We ask visitors who have cold and flu symptoms, such as a cough, runny nose or high temperature, to stay away from the hospital to avoid passing on their infections to our patients."

Sixteen cancer patients have been diagnosed with swine flu at the LRI and a further three at the Glenfield site.

Latest on Leicester swine flu alert

You can read more about the swine flu outbreak at Leicester Royal Infirmary here.

Leicester Royal Infirmary
BBC

The illness is affecting patients across three wards at the hospital and a further three patients at the city's Glenfield Hospital.

Source of swine flu outbreak 'unlikely to be found'

Dr Philip Monk, from Public Health England, said it was unlikely it would ever be known how the flu got onto the wards.

"It is a normal winter - and swine flu is the normal flu and the number of cases is not that high across the East Midlands," he said.

"Obviously, when it gets into a clinical setting where people are very vulnerable then this is a difficult situation to manage."

"Everything is being done and it is under control", he added.

Swine flu 'now normal'

This blog post, by Public Health England, goes into more detail about why swine flu is now considered a normal, seasonal flu strain.