BREAKING: By Oliver Farrimond
AN ELDERLY man diagnosed with swine flu has died after spending 15 days in intensive care.
The 73-year-old man, from the Inverclyde area, had serious underlying health problems and died at Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley last night.
The man is the second person diagnosed as having influenza A (H1N1) to die in the UK, as the number of infected cases in Scotland nears the 1,000 mark.
Nicola Sturgeon, Health Secretary, said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the patient at this tragic and very sad time.
“The family has asked for the patient’s identity to be kept private.
“We are respecting their wish and will not be releasing the identity of this patient while the family comes to terms with their loss.
“Although it is concerning that the patient had swine flu, we are aware that the patient had very serious underlying health issues.
“It is important to remember that the vast majority of those who have H1N1 are suffering from relatively mild symptoms.
“I would like to offer my reassurance that the risk to the public remains low but would also urge everyone to do what they can to help slow the spread of the virus by remembering to follow simple hygiene procedures.”
A spokesperson for the family of the man said: “Our beloved relative was private in life and we would ask that his privacy continues to be respected as we try to come to terms with our loss.”
The news comes weeks after the first British swine flu victim – a 38-year-old woman – died in Scotland earlier this month.
Treated by staff at the same hospital after giving birth prematurely, she also had existing health problems.