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Swine flu had me coughing up blood

PUBLISHED: 10:20 16 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:51 23 August 2010

SICK: Harry Taylor

SICK: Harry Taylor

A 71-YEAR-OLD asthma suffer is isolated at home after catching the deadly swine flu as outbreaks spread across north Kent. Harry Taylor, of St Dunstan s Drive, Gravesend, fell ill over the weekend and was immediately given the anti-viral drug Tamiflu aft

A 71-YEAR-OLD asthma suffer is isolated at home after catching the deadly swine flu as outbreaks spread across north Kent.

Harry Taylor, of St Dunstan's Drive, Gravesend, fell ill over the weekend and was immediately given the anti-viral drug Tamiflu after reporting tell-tale signs of the condition and coughing up blood.

The drug is currently withheld from the majority of patients and given to those most at risk due to 'underlying health problems' or because of their age.

This week health bosses confirmed they are preparing to vaccinate the entire population against swine flu, in the biggest programme for 50 years, following the first death of a patient without underlying health issues and two other similar deaths on Monday.

This week it was also revealed that six-year-old Chloe Buckley, from Middlesex, who had seemed 'perfectly healthy', died from the condition.

Dr Michael Day, 64, from Bedfordshire, is also thought to have died from swine flu.

Mr Taylor has been told not to leave his home for five days as health bosses and the department for health desperately try to control outbreaks.

Mr Taylor said: "I went from absolutely freezing to absolutely boiling up.

"On the Saturday I was not eating just drinking plenty of water and fruit juice but started coughing up blood and feeling very weak. It really took it out of me.

"It was not long before I recognised the symptoms and my doctor confirmed I had swine flu."

He is among scores of residents in Gravesend, Dartford and Swanley to be struck down with the killer bug.

Mr Taylor was told he had swine flu when he used his 'emergency call line' to Darent Valley Hospital.

A doctor confirmed he had the condition and Gravesend Hospital contacted his wife with a prescription for Tamiflu where she collected from the Asda pharmacy, Greenhithe.

He added: "I am concerned that people are walking around with this.

"They don't realise how dangerous this can be to the young and the very old. People think it's a joke but I'm sure this will get worse.

"I have had flu before but I think this is worse.

"You start to feel better, feel stronger and then you have a relapse and it knocks you sideways and you're back at the beginning."

He added: "It reminds me of the flu in 1947 - 62 years ago - that was really bad and I feel this is just going to get worse and worse and more dangerous as it changes."

Mr Taylor also supported calls for widespread vaccination against the condition to limit deaths.

He added: "That's a good idea. Everyone needs to be vaccinated and I'm surprised a mass vaccination hasn't been done already.

"It's hitting big time now. If you get it you will know it's horrendous."

Nearly 10,000 Britons have caught Swine Flu after it spread to the UK from Mexico.

Peter Holden, the British Medical Association's lead negotiator on swine flu, said: "High risk groups will be done at GPs' surgeries.

"We want to get cracking before a second wave, which is traditionally more virulent."

The department of health has ordered 130 million doses to inoculate the entire population with two jabs. The first batches are expected to arrive in early autumn.

A spokesperson said: "We don't buy it if we do not intend to use it. Offering vaccination has always been part of our plans to protect as many people as possible."

lAnyone who thinks they might have swine flu should check their symptoms on www.nhs.uk, or call 0800 1 513 513.

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