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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GP dies after contracting swine flu

By Steve Nowottny

A GP from Bedfordshire has become the UK's 17th swine flu fatality. Dr Michael Day died on Saturday in the Luton and Dunstable Hospital.

A swab test taken at the hospital was subsequently confirmed as being positive for the H1N1 swine flu virus. The exact cause of death in this case is still unknown and the case has been reported to the Coroner for investigation.

Dr Paul Hassan, senior partner at the Priory Gardens Health Centre, said: 'This news has come as such a shock to us all and we are completely devastated. Dr Day was a work colleague and also a personal friend to everyone at the practice.

'I know the news will also come as a great shock to our patients, many of whom have known him for many years. Our thoughts at this time are with his wife and family.

'The family and staff at the practice would now appreciate time and privacy to come to terms with this tragic news.'

A spokesperson from NHS East of England said: 'Following discussions between NHS Bedfordshire, the Health Protection Agency and NHS East of England, it was agreed that the practice, supported by NHS Bedfordshire, would contact the close family, other close household contacts, practice staff and any patients who have been in recent contact with Dr Day.

'In all cases, as a precautionary measure, they will be clinically assessed, to determine whether they may have symptoms of swine flu and, if they have, they will be offered anti-viral medication.

'Those who are well and displaying no symptoms when contacted will be advised of the symptoms to look out for and the actions to take should they develop symptoms.'

RCGP chair Professor Steve Field said: 'On hearing this very sad news our thoughts go out to the family, friends and colleagues of Dr Michael Day, a well respected local GP in Dunstable. Dr Day's death will without doubt be a huge loss to his family and to the profession.'

GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman said: 'Our first thoughts are for Dr Day and his family and for all other victims of swine flu. Doctors have always accepted that there are risks associated with their job.

'Obviously these are smaller than they used to be with the advent of modern medicine, but they can never be eliminated altogether. We must remember that every year there are deaths from complications of seasonal flu; this is unfortunately inevitable with any strain of influenza.'

Earlier today six-year old Chloe Buckley became the UK's 16th swine flu fatality, following the announcement of her death in London on Thursday.

Dr Michael Day, who died on Saturday Dr Michael Day, who died on Saturday

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