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Killer flu outbreak is to blame for a 42% spike in deaths


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Melissa Whiteley, 18, passed away from flu on January 27 – after falling ill on Christmas Day.

The engineering student, from Hanford, Staffordshire, could barely walk when she was admitted to hospital.

She was placed in an induced coma but did not recover, her heartbroken twin sister revealed.

Miss Whiteley passed away at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester surrounded by her loved-ones – including her twin sister Megan – on January 27.

Coby Simons, nine, from Exeter, passed away on January 24 – two days after being struck down with the killer virus. His parents initially asked for his identity to be hidden.

Public Health England at the time confirmed the gifted maths pupil tested positive for flu. He becomes the sixth victim across the UK to have been named.

Tributes have flooded in for the year 5 pupil, who was shown to have influenza B in his post-mortem. He was described as ‘absolutely perfect’ by his parents.

His mother Louise told DevonLive: ‘He was just such a lovely boy. He was absolutely perfect; I wouldn’t have changed anything about him, not even when he was in a bad mood.’ 

Dylan Day, 12, died from flu, his heartbroken parents revealed.

The schoolboy, from Stoke-on-Trent, passed away after developing sepsis, triggered by a a strain of influenza B he was fighting, on January 20.

Tributes flooded in for the keen footballer, with family and friends describing him as an ‘amazing’ and ‘cheeky’ young boy who will be ‘greatly missed’.

Dylan’s mother Sarah announced his death in a poignant Facebook post, revealing he had ‘really suffered’ before his eventual death.

Bethany Walker, 18, died after taking ill at home – initially from flu symptoms which later developed into pneumonia. 

Miss Walker, of Applecross, Scotland, was airlifted to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness but died later on January 5.

Tributes poured in on social media. Her mother Heather Teale wrote on Facebook: ‘My beautiful Daughter Bethany Walker was taken from me.

Miss Walker wanted to study midwifery and was due to head for Aberdeen University later this year.

Melanie Coombs, 56, who defied her death sentence and beat terminal cancer three times died from ‘Aussie flu’.

Ms Coombs, from Hailsham, East Sussex, eventually succumbed to pneumonia and passed away in hospital shortly after Christmas.

Her grieving son, Anthony Butler, 30, believes the deadly H3N2 strain of influenza A, dubbed ‘Aussie flu’ was responsible for his mother’s eventual death.

Speaking about his ‘inspirational’ mother’s ordeal for the first time, he told Mirror Online: ‘She said, “cancer won’t kill me” – and she was right. 

Owen Hardy, 95, from Chichester, lost his battle to the bug on January 4. His family said his death is a ‘huge loss for the nation’.

The World War II Spitfire veteran died after contracting one of the killer flu strains that is currently circulating the UK, his grieving daughter revealed.

During his time serving for the RAF in the war, the wing commander’s heroics saw him be awarded the top medal for valour – the Legion d’Honneur. 

His heartbroken daughter, Debbie Elliott, told the Chichester Observer: ‘It’s a huge loss. We’re all devastated. He has left a huge gap in all of our lives. 

Sean Hughes, from Dublin, died from the ‘flu’ on January 12, his heartbroken parents revealed days after.

The 15-year-old, who was an aspiring rapper, passed away in hospital after being rushed for emergency treatment the evening before.

Doctors were adamant Sean, known to his friends as Lil’ Red, had the flu when they saw him on Wednesday.

Tributes flooded in for Sean, who was ‘loved by everyone’ and described as a ‘larger-than-life young man’ who was ‘way ahead of his years’. 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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