29 April 2009
Three patients under investigation in England have today been confirmed with swine flu, bringing the current total number of confirmed UK cases to five.
Testing of the swine flu virus was carried out by the Health Protection Agency's Centre for Infections Virus Reference Department.
All three cases – an adult from London, an adult from the West Midlands and an adolescent from the South West – are responding well to treatment at home.
The Health Protection Agency is working to ensure that any close contacts of the three patients are offered antivirals as a precautionary measure. The definition of close contacts is based on interim guidance issued by the Health Protection Agency. This states that individuals exposed to a probable or confirmed case within a distance of one metre or less and for longer than one hour should be offered antivirals as a precautionary measure.
All cases are associated with travel to Mexico. The Health Protection Agency's advice remains that individuals returning from affected areas who become unwell within seven days of their return should stay at home and contact their GP or NHS Direct. Individuals will be assessed and, if necessary, testing and treatment will be provided.
The Health Protection Agency is enhancing its presence at airports in England to provide all passengers arriving from Mexico with information and advice on swine flu.
Those returning from affected areas who become unwell within seven days of their return are being advised to stay at home and contact their GP or NHS Direct. They will be assessed and, if necessary, testing and treatment will be provided.
There are well established guidelines about the assessment and management of people who become unwell in transit and these are governed by international air travel regulations to which the UK is a signatory.
If someone becomes unwell during a flight then cabin crew have to follow the International Air Travel Association (IATA) guidelines. The pilot has a duty to notify the port health staff so that the passenger can be assessed upon arrival.
A leaflet produced by the Health Protection Agency, the Department of Health and the UK Borders Agency is being made available at all ports of entry into the UK providing passengers arriving in the UK with information on swine flu.
The Health Protection Agency is continuing to monitor events and work closely alongside the UK government, to review the ongoing events and assess any threat they pose to UK public health.
As at 17:00hrs on 28 April, the number of cases in the UK currently under laboratory investigation: 78.
Further information on swine flu is available on the Health Protection Agency's website at www.hpa.org.uk
Copies of the leaflet being distributed at all ports of entry into the UK providing passengers arriving in the UK with information on swine flu are available at http://www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1240986139568
For further information on this statement please contact the Health Protection Agency's Centre for Infections press office on:
David Daley 020 8327 6647
Alexandra Baker 020 8327 7098
Louise Brown 020 8327 7080
Kate Swan 020 8327 7097
Last reviewed: 30 April 2009