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Winter flu outbreak claimed more than 300 Scots lives

Flu deaths across the country increased by 360% in the first three months of this year.

Killer flu: Death rate has soared.
Killer flu: Death rate has soared. Susann Prautsch / DPA/PA Images

Flu deaths in Scotland increased by 360% in the first three months of this year, with the virus claiming 331 lives.

The figure compares with 72 flu deaths at the start of 2017.

There were 17,771 deaths in January to March 2018 - the highest number in this period for more than three decades, figures from National Records Scotland showed.

The overall number was 2060 higher (13.1%) than the first three months of last year, and the highest first quarter total since 1986, the data showed.

As well as the large rise in influenza deaths recorded, there was a 35.8% increase in deaths from respiratory disease to 2855.

Deaths from coronary heart disease increased to 1916 in January to March, up by 5.4% from the same time in 2017.

https://stv.tv/news/scotland/1406484-flu-outbreak-worsens-amid-a-e-wards-winter-problems/ | default

Meanwhile there was a 15% rise in dementia deaths, and a 22.5% increase in deaths from Alzheimer's Disease, with the conditions claiming 1416 and 795 lives respectively.

Deaths from cerebrovascular disease increased by 11.1% to 1,220 for the three-month period.

The figures meanwhile showed a drop in the number of babies being born.

There were 12,713 births recorded in January to March, which was 539 (4.1%) less than the first quarter of 2017 and the lowest first quarter total since 2003.

Anne Slater, acting registrar general for Scotland, said: "Over the longer term, deaths from coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease have decreased considerably while the number of deaths from cancer and respiratory disease has risen slightly.

"There has been a relatively large increase in the number of deaths from dementia and Alzheimer's Disease, with such deaths now accounting for more than 10% of all deaths compared to 5% a decade ago."

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