Twenty-nine people with swine flu have so far died, the Health Protection Agency said Thursday, in a sharp increase in the death toll from 17 earlier this week.
Twenty-six people have died in England, three in Scotland and none in Wales or Northern Ireland, officials said, while estimating there were 55,000 new cases last week in Britain, the worst hit country by the pandemic in Europe, reports AFP.
It comes as Prof Sir Liam Donaldson, the chief medical officer, admitted that up to 12 per cent of the workforce will be sick by September, in addition to the nine per cent of workers predicted to contract the virus in August.
It is feared that the combination of high sickness levels and holiday absences will put pressure on businesses already struggling with the recession, informs Telegraph.
Professor Steve Field, the chairman of the Royal College, said: "Swine flu is spreading rapidly across the whole of the country now. GPs are saying that they are coming under a lot of pressure from patients who have it and many GPs say that the publicity surrounding the death of six-year-old London schoolgirl Chloe Buckley has increased demand and made people more anxious, although there is no reason for them to be so," reports Guardian.