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Swine flu cases jump by 1,000 in Scotland

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Swine flu is spreading in Scotland at the rate of 1,000 new cases a week - up by 7,034 in the past week compared with 6,180 for the previous seven days, according to latest official estimates.

Government surveillance figures also show the rate of GP consultations for flu-like illnesses, including swine flu, across Scotland rose to 62.1 per 100,000 this week. This is an increase from last week’s figure of 53.3.

One critically-ill patient has been sent to England for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), in which blood is circulated outside the body and oxygen added artificially.

In July, pregnant mother Sharon Pentleton was rushed to Sweden for the same treatment because no beds were available at the UK specialist unit in Leicester.

Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “We have seen the figures show a significant increase in the number of people consulting their GP with flu-like symptoms over the last few weeks.

“Today’s figures show another increase in the number of people consulting their GP, an increase in the number of overall estimated cases and an increase in the proportion of samples testing positive for H1N1. The potential threat from H1N1 remains serious, even if it continues to be a relatively mild virus.”

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