Swine flu has returned to the UK this winter, leaving 15 people dead and over 100 patients in intensive care.

This year’s situation is in fact worse than last year’s pandemic medical researchers have revealed.

The North-west of England confirmed five deaths caused by swine flu yesterday. One of the deceased was 32-year-old mother Kay Burdett from Liverpool.

The president of the Intensive Care Society Bob Winter said: “Something different is happening this year. The last 10 days have seen a sudden surge of activity. The numbers in intensive care are increasing across the UK. In the north west they are more than at the peak of the pandemic.”

In north-eastern England the outbreak is also severe with public health specialists calling the situation “as bad as or worse than” at the peak of the swine flu pandemic last year.

Richard Firmin, The director of the the UK’s main ECMO centre at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester said: “It is very busy, even busier than last year. The way we are headed we are not sure we will have enough capacity. We have 15 beds open altogether – we didn’t need more than 12 last year. We have pretty much activated all those who can do it.

“No one was expecting it to be worse this year than last year,” he continued.

Swine flu mainly affects younger adults between 18-35, as well as the obese, pregnant women, and those with chronic health problems.