LONDON – A person has died of swine flu at a hospital in Scotland in the first death from the illness reported in Britain, officials said Sunday.
It also was the first death from the H5N1 strain of influenza reported outside the Americas by the World Health Organization in Geneva or the European Centers for Disease Control in Stockholm, which both keep tabs on confirmed cases of swine flu and deaths from the illness in countries around the world.
Scotland's government said the patient suffering from swine flu died at a hospital there. It said the patient was one of 10 people being treated for the influenza at the facility.
The statement did not identify the patient or the hospital. "The patient had underlying health conditions," the government statement said, without saying what they were.
Britain has been harder hit by the virus than elsewhere in Europe. Earlier Sunday, Britain had reported another 61 cases of swine flu, bringing the U.K. total to 1,226 cases.
Friday's last WHO report said 74 countries have officially reported 29,669 cases of swine flu, including 145 deaths. Fatalities had occurred in eight countries in the Americas: Mexico, the United States, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala.
Last week, the World Health Organization declared the flu a pandemic. WHO said it expected further cases — and deaths — to occur as the pandemic plays out over the next few years.