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Child diagnosed with swine flu dies

A child who was diagnosed with swine flu in Northern Ireland last week has died, the Public Health Agency confirmed.

The child was a pupil at Ceara School in Lurgan, a special school for children with severe learning disabilities.

A PHA spokeswoman said: "The PHA can confirm that a child with confirmed flu infection, who attended a school for children with special needs, has sadly passed away.

"The PHA would like to extend its deepest sympathy to the family of this child. This death is a reminder that flu infection can cause serious complications, and indeed death, in those with certain underlying medical conditions."

Last year 20 people in Northern Ireland died from the swine flu outbreak. A number of those were children with severe learning difficulties.

Flu vaccines are being supplied to children who attend schools for those with severe learning difficulties this year, and the PHA has contacted parents and GPs asking for them to be immunised as soon as possible.

The spokeswoman added: "While there is no evidence at present that flu is circulating widely in the community it is impossible to predict when it will.

"We would advise all those who are eligible for flu immunisation to make sure they get it as soon as possible."

This year's vaccine protects against three strains of flu, including H1N1 flu.

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NHS Swine Flu