THIS WEEK IN 1981: Eight killed by city flu

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Eight people have died in a mid-winter wave of influenza that has swept through residential homes in the Portsmouth area.

Worst hit among Hampshire Council homes was the 60-bed Edinburgh House, at Cosham, where six residents died as the virulent infection ran its course from mid-December.

Two more deaths followed among residents at Alexandra Lodge, Northern Parade, and Samuel Lodge Residential Home for the elderly in Clover Reach, Milton, both in Portsmouth, taking the overall death toll to eight inside a month.

In each case of death, flu had led to severe bronchitis or pneumonia.

Private residential homes for the elderly in Portsmouth and Gosport reported that they had escaped the worst of the flu outbreak, although many residents had experienced an abnormal number of influenza cases for the time of year.

At Samuel Lodge, 43 of the home’s 50 residents were ‘severely stricken’ by the virus, which hit ten days ago, causing one death.