Two children with swine flu die


Two young children with swine flu have died in Northern Ireland

Two young children with swine flu have died in Northern Ireland.

The death of a 10-month-old baby boy was announced just hours after the authorities said a two-year-old boy with the virus had died.

The baby had underlying health problems.

It is not known if the two-year-old, who was from the Republic of Ireland, was also suffering from another condition as his family have asked for those details to remain private.

The death takes to 19 the confirmed number of people with the H1N1 virus who have died in Northern Ireland this flu season.

Health Minister Michael McGimpsey expressed his sympathies to the family of the latest young victim, who was from Northern Ireland.

“This is tragic news and my thoughts and sympathies are with the family of this baby at this very sad and difficult time,” he said.

The minister had earlier passed his condolences to the family of the two-year-old boy.

The fatalities will put further pressure on the authorities to re-think the policy decision not to vaccinate all under-fives against the virus, something which was done last year. Only infants in ‘at-risk’ health categories are being vaccinated.

But after the death of the two-year-old was announced, Mr McGimpsey said medical advisers remained of the opinion that the vaccination programme should not be extended.

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