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A much-heralded government website designed to relieve the pressure from frontline NHS staff by providing online diagnosis of swine flu ground to a halt today within a few minutes of its launch.
The website - at www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu - was made live at 3pm to help support the National Pandemic Flu service's telephone helpline, which is designed to handle 200,000 calls a day.
Within three minutes the site was showing a message informing visitors and patients: "The Service is currently very busy and cannot deal with your request at this time. Please try again in a little while."
"It's having a few teething problems but it should be sorted pretty soon," a Department of Health spokesman said.
OTTAWA, July 23 (Xinhua) -- The death toll of the A/H1N1 flu in Canada rose to 55 Thursday, the Public Health Agency of Canada announced.
That was five more than the number released on Tuesday.
Deaths have now occurred in seven provinces or territories. The French-speaking Quebec has the most deaths at 19, followed by Ontario province at 18.
The total confirmed cases of the H1N1 flu in the country have now surpassed 10,000.
A King County female child died on July 18 from complications of H1N1 influenza (swine flu) and her underlying health conditions. This is the second reported H1N1 death in King County.
PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia recorded its first influenza A (H1N1)-related death in a 30-year-old Indonesian student who died of heart complications.
Tengku Abdullah Syahputra from Medan was a first-year student of the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance in Kuala Lumpur.
His body has been claimed by his family and taken back to Medan.
He was on holiday in Indonesia and returned to Malaysia on July 5. He had fever and cough but the symptoms were mild.
On July 20, he started to have high fever and cough and was lethargic.
The next day, the student sought medical treatment at a private medical centre in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur.
While waiting for his medication, the student fainted and was given emergency medical treatment but he failed to respond.
He was declared dead at 11.50am.
The county health department announced the first two deaths from the H1N1 flu — two adult males.
The men, aged 44 and 49, had underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk of complications from flu, according to health officials.
The county has about 140 lab-confirmed cases while the state reports about 2,915 cases of H1N1 with 25 deaths.
The Virginia Department of Health reported today the death of a woman from the Prince William Health District who was diagnosed with the H1N1 swine-flu virus.
The cause of death had not been confirmed, but the virus appears to have played a factor, officials said. The patient had an underlying health condition that put her at greater risk of complications from the flu.
At least three Virginians have died from the virus since early June.
LITTLE FALLS, N.J., July 23 -- Clinicians encountering children with flu-like symptoms accompanied by neurologic symptoms should consider infection with the pandemic H1N1 (swine flu) virus in the differential diagnosis, researchers said.
■Explain to interested patients that this study described four cases in which children with confirmed infection with the pandemic H1N1 virus had neurological complications without a known etiology.
Since April, the Dallas County health department has detected four cases of neurological complications in children with confirmed H1N1 infection, Jane Siegel, MD, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues reported in the July 24 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
When encountering children with flu-like symptoms and unexplained seizures or mental status changes, clinicians should begin antiviral treatment immediately -- especially in hospitalized patients -- and send specimens for viral testing, the researchers said.
Neurological complications, including seizures, encephalitis, encephalopathy, and Reye syndrome, had previously been associated with seasonal influenza viruses but had not yet been described in connection to the new pandemic strain.
The cases -- all boys -- were identified among 405 confirmed cases of infection and 44 hospitalizations in the Dallas area. The CDC was alerted on May 28.
All four boys, whose ages ranged from 7 to 17, recovered fully during hospitalization and were sent home without any remaining neurological symptoms.
All four had fever, three had encephalopathy, and two had seizures.
The onset of the neurological symptoms after the development of respiratory disease ranged from one to four days.
All received a five-day course of oseltamivir (Tamiflu); three also received rimantadine, which has proven to be ineffective against the pandemic H1N1 virus.
The researchers described the details of each patient's experience:
•Patient A was a previously healthy black male, age 17, who was initially sent home with a prescription for oseltamivir after seeking treatment at a community hospital emergency room. He was admitted the next day because of increased weakness. He was disoriented and confused and gave slow and intermittent responses to questions. His mental status returned to normal on day three.
•Patient B was a previously healthy Hispanic male, age 10, who presented with tonic-clonic seizure and a subsequent post-ictal mental state. He was transferred to the ICU after having a generalized seizure. During his hospitalization, he was confused and drowsy and had difficulty answering questions. Following another seizure on day four, his mental status returned slowly to normal by day seven.
•Patient C was a white male, age 7, with a history of simple febrile seizure. He presented at the hospital with a seizure following two days of cough, nasal congestion, and fatigue. He was discharged on day three and completed a five-day course of antiviral treatment.
•Patient D was a black male, age 11, with a history of asthma. A neurologic exam revealed ataxia and he had a seizure shortly after admission. He was disoriented and had visual hallucinations during the first two days of his hospitalization. He had difficulty responding to questions, slow speech, and decreased respiratory drive associated with encephalopathy. His mental status returned to normal on day four.