Yorkshire 'has worst flu rates' as national death toll hits 112

Deaths from flu have risen to 112 across England including 10 in East Yorkshire.

Latest figures show victims include six children under five, nine aged five to 14 and 70 people aged 15 to 64.

Health chiefs are refusing to give an accurate picture of the outbreak in the region but figures reported by GPs suggest flu rates in Yorkshire are higher than any other part of England.

The majority of deaths have been among those in at-risk groups including nine of the 10 adults who have died in East Yorkshire in unrelated cases.

Four people are believed to have died in Rotherham where hospital bosses have cancelled all planned surgery requiring an inpatient bed in the last week.

Among the latest victims is Katrina Mullen, 41, of Scarborough, who died at the town's hospital at the weekend after falling ill on Christmas Day with a cough.

The mother-of-two, who had underlying health problems, married her partner Jason last March.

He yesterday urged anyone in an at-risk group to get vaccinated.

"Katrina was amazing," he said. "She was a lovely, kind and caring person who was always thinking of other people. We had a fairytale romance and we were very much in love."

Phil Morley, chief executive at the Hull and East Yorkshire trust, said it was facing "significant pressure", partly due to the high number of flu patients, leading to some cancellations of major surgery.

"I would stress, however, that we still have some capacity in critical care and patients should be aware that this isn't a crisis," he added.

Hospital officials in Rotherham said extra beds were open to cope with demand but day surgery was unaffected. Bosses at the South Tees trust said 10-20 operations had been cancelled each day this week.

The death toll has risen from 50 last week but includes cases from December not previously given. The number of people needing critical care has fallen from 783 last week to 661 including 62 in Yorkshire, down from 68.

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