Six die of swine flu in NSW

NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant, has confirmed that six people, four with underlying medical conditions, had died with Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza.

The deaths of the remaining two are under further investigation.

"It is important to note that although people may die with influenza, it may not be the cause of death," Dr Chant said.

The death of the five men and one woman, with ages ranging from the late 30s to the early 70s, brings the total of Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza-related fatalities in NSW to 30.

Dr Chant said the number of people presenting to emergency departments with influenza-like illness was continuing to fall.

"In NSW, 533 people presented to Emergency Departments with influenza-like illness in the last seven-day count, which is 31 per cent lower than the previous week,'' Dr Chant said.

"These numbers are encouraging however, we cannot become complacent. August is traditionally a busy month for seasonal influenza and it is important that everyone continues to employ basic hygiene practices to prevent the virus from spreading throughout our community."

Dr Chant reminded pregnant women, Aboriginal people and anyone with underlying chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, lung, heart and kidney disease, who have moderate to severe illness to consult their doctor immediately.

Since the pandemic began in NSW, 993 confirmed Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza cases have been reportedly admitted to hospital. In NSW, 42 people with confirmed Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza are reported to be currently receiving treatment in intensive care.

Throughout the state, 4378 people have now tested positive for Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza.

This figure, however, represents only a small proportion of the infections in the community as testing was no longer routinely recommended except for hospitalised patients and in circumstances where it may change clinical management.

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