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Only 1 in 10 flu cases are H1N1

21st August 2009

New evidence has emerged that only one in 10 people suspected of having swine flu actually have the bug.

Last month 24% of suspected cases tested were positive for H1N1, with the drop raising concerns that people were using swine flu as an excuse to call in sick to work.

And the latest sample testing has revealed that H1N1 was only present in 10% of cases.

With hundreds of thousands of cases over the summer, experts have been using random samples to check if the disease is changing in any way or whether resistant to Tamiflu is emerging.

The number of cases of swine flu were 11,000 last week, down from the peak of 110,000 in the week of 23 July. Calls and web visits to the National Pandemic Flu Service have also dropped.

Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson said GP consultation rates about flu have now dropped below baseline levels, used to monitor seasonal flu activity, but this did not mean that swine flu has gone away.

Figures this week showed that at one stage 263 people were in hospital with swine flu and 30 of them in intensive care.

Sir Liam added: "This is very exceptional at this time of year, to have people with flu in hospital and in intensive care. Seeing a declining pattern doesn't mean it has completely gone away."

The total number of UK deaths is now 54 with health authorities on stand by for a second wave of swine flu and vaccines are currently in trials.


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Article Information

Title: Only 1 in 10 flu cases are H1N1
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 12464
Date Added: 21st Aug 2009


The Telegraph

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