NHS Shetland - Survey - March 2021

Flu identified as coach tour illness

NHS SHETLAND has confirmed that two of the five coach passengers admitted to Gilbert Bain Hospital this week after returning from Wales were suffering from the flu virus.

One of the five people, 85 year old Ian Younger, from Lerwick, died on Wednesday afternoon two days after he and three others were admitted with high temperatures and a cough. Fifth patient was admitted later in a less serious condition.

On Thursday afternoon public health director Sarah Taylor confirmed that two of the five patients had the flu.

The cause of illness in three of the patients has yet to be indentified, the health board said.

She added: “As people will know, influenza (flu) can be a serious illness in older people and those with underlying health conditions, which is why we offer the annual flu vaccination to these groups.

“Being vaccinated doesn’t always guarantee that someone won’t become ill with flu, but it reduces the likelihood of them catching the strains covered by the vaccine, and of them being ill if they do catch it.”

Earlier Taylor had said the other four patients were “stable and improving”, but she did not know when they would be discharged from hospital.