Expert says swine flu child toll will double in next year

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Melbourne, July 2 (ANI): A leading expert on swine flu has warned that twice as many children will die of the disease in the next 12 months compared to the number of deaths from regular influenza.

Professor Robert Booy, however, said the number of deaths would still be fairly small - around 10 or 12 in a year.

Three to six children die every year from regular influenza. It (death from swine flu) can occur in a healthy child although most of them we believe will occur in a child with a problem, say a chronic heart problem, long-standing lung, kidney, liver (problems) or diabetes," Professor Booy told ABC radio.

"The likelihood is with this virus we'll see more of the small number of severe (cases) than we do normally."

Yesterday a three-year-old Victorian boy with swine flu died. The family requested the boy's medical history not be released.

Prof Booy is the co-director of the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases at The Children's Hospital at Westmead in Sydney. (ANI)

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