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Swine flu alert for British hospitals

28th April 2009

The government has sent out a swine flu alert to all hospitals in Britain after two patients at a Scottish hospital tested positive for the virus.

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The Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that a young couple who had recently returned from Mexico were "recovering well" in hospital.

She added: "The threat to the public remains very low and the precautionary action we have been taking has allowed us to respond appropriately. It puts us in the best possible position to stem and disrupt the virus. We are trying to put a ring around the virus."

“It is important to say that outside of Mexico, everyone who has contracted swine flu has experienced mild symptoms.”

Health Secretary Alan Johnson said they expected to see more cases of swine flu and that any traveller coming into the country with symptoms would be seen "very, very quickly".

Mr Johnson stated that there had not been any severe cases of the virus outside of Mexico and Britain had stockpiled 33.5 million doses of antiviral treatments.

The Chief Medical Officer Professor Sir Liam Donaldson sent out the flu alert in order to warn hospitals about symptoms, what precautions to take and how to report cases of the virus.

If a pandemic occurs, the national flu pandemic strategy - originally composed in response to the potential danger of bird flu - would be put in place. The Department of Health would set up an operations room in order to control medical supplies and vaccines.

 

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