Medical experts have warned that swine flu could claim 65,000 lives in Britain unless the epidemic is stopped.
It would be the worst case scenario based on 30 per cent of the population catching the virus, The Mirror quoted Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson, as saying.
AdvertisementDonaldson spoke as it was announced the number of Britons who have died after contracting swine flu now stands at 29. Twelve deaths were reported in just four days.
There are also 652 people being treated in hospital, 53 of them in a critical condition.
The latest victim who died of the deadly flu was a six-year-old boy, who was not suffering from any other medical problems.
The Sherwin Knight Infant School in Strood, Kent, where he studied remained closed until further notice. A school source said: "It's a very sad time."
His death come just days after that of six-year-old victim Chloe Buckley, of North West London.
Announcing new details of the National Pandemic Flu Service for England, Sir Liam insisted the virus has not become more virulent and most people infected have mild symptoms.
The telephone and Internet service will allow patients to get a diagnosis, obtain a unique reference number and gain access to anti-viral drug Tamiflu.
Sir Liam said the service was to alleviate pressure on hospitals and GPs, allowing them to look after the most seriously ill.
He added: "We are not saying everybody has to do this and we are keeping the normal routes of access to GPs open."
NHS Direct has been swamped with calls from people worried they have swine flu.
The Royal College of GPs' said family doctors have complained of poor out-of-hours planning, confusion over Tamiflu and few instructions on how long victims should stay home.
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