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The killer flu outbreak is to blame for a 42 per cent spike in deaths across England and Wales, statisticians claim
Published: 02:16 AEDT, 28 February 2018 | Updated: 03:36 AEDT, 28 February 2018
Government figures reveal 64,157 people died in January - significantly higher than the death toll of 45,141 recorded in December. It is the highest number since records began in 2006 - and only the second time it has breached 60,000. 'Circulating influenza' was blamed in the report, released today and compiled using data of deaths from each region. It showed deaths were higher than levels recorded during the Swine flu pandemic in 2010 - considered the worst outbreak in recent years. The Office for National Statistics report showed a similar trend in deaths was seen in all nine regions of England and Wales itself. It read: 'Circulating influenza is likely to be a contributing factor in the high number of deaths registered in January 2018.' Some 10,011 deaths were recorded in the South East, followed by 8,625 in the North West and 7,110 in the East of England. At the other end of the scale, 3,503 people died in the North East in January, 3,945 in Wales and 5,401 in the East Midlands. Latest figures show the flu outbreak has killed at least 271 people, but this is likely to be an underestimate because it only counts for confirmed hospital deaths.