BBC News reports Winter deaths ‘highest since 1999’

November 26, 2015   //   No Comments

There were an estimated 43,900 excess deaths in England and Wales last winter, the highest number since 1999, figures show.

The report suggests most of the deaths involved people over 75.  The flu virus was a major cause of the rise, along with an influenza vaccine that was less effective than those of previous years, experts said.  The figures are published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and show there were more deaths in women than men.  Commenting on the statistics, Claudia Wells, at the ONS, said: “A major cause behind the rise was the flu virus, with estimates showing that the flu vaccine was not as effective this winter compared to previous years.”

Respiratory illnesses such as influenza and pneumonia were the underlying causes of death in more than a third of all winter cases.  Experts say the strain of flu circulating last year had a greater impact on older people, resulting in a number of care home outbreaks and admissions to intensive care.

You may read the full report on the BBC’s website here.