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Home News centre National Press Releases 2009 Press Releases ›  Update on confirmed swine flu cases

Update on confirmed swine flu cases

17 May 2009

14 further patients under investigation in England have today been confirmed with swine flu bringing the current total number of confirmed UK cases to 101

Testing of the swine flu virus is carried out by the Health Protection Agency's laboratories.

There are six adults and eight children among the new confirmed cases in the East of England region, London and the South East region – 11 contacts of previously confirmed cases, 2 returning travellers and one whose source of infection remains under investigation.


Confirmed new cases for
17 May 2009

Totalconfirmed cases as at
17 May 2009

East of England



East Midlands






North East



North West



South East



South West



West Midlands



Yorkshire & Humber






Northern Ireland













155 cases are currently under laboratory investigation in the UK.These cases change on a daily basis on account of some of those under assessment being discounted and new ones being introduced. This figure is correct at the time stated.

Due to the time-lag between the reporting of symptoms, taking swabs, testing and the confirmation of results, the new cases reported daily may have recovered and may now be symptom-free. All symptomatic patients are recovering at home. Close contacts of these cases are receiving antivirals as a precautionary measure.

Advice remains that individuals returning from affected areas who become unwell within seven days of their return or contacts of a confirmed or probable case of swine flu who are exhibiting symptoms should stay at home and contact their GP or NHS Direct on 0845 4647. Individuals will be assessed and, if necessary, testing and treatment will be provided.

General infection control practices and good respiratory hand hygiene can help to reduce transmission of all viruses, including swine flu. This includes:

  • Covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue when possible.
  • Disposing of dirty tissues promptly and carefully.
  • Maintaining good basic hygiene, for example washing hands frequently with soap and water to reduce the spread of the virus from your hands to face or to other people.
  • Cleaning hard surfaces (e.g. door handles) frequently using a normal cleaning product.
  • Making sure your children follow this advice.
  • Where antivirals are prescribed, it is important that the specified course of treatment is followed and completed, even though in some cases this medication may cause nausea.  


Notes to editors

Further information on swine flu is available on the Health Protection Agency's website at

The Department of Health has set up a swine flu information line for the public on 0800 1 513 513.

Copies of a 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

The Health Protection Agency is providing expert advice and support to the UK government, NHS and other organisations. This includes:

1. Enhancing the Agency's presence at airports in England to provide all passengers arriving from Mexico with information and advice on swine flu.

2. 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.

3. Specialist liaison to the UK Embassy in Mexico to aid the UK effort to tackle swine flu.

4. In association with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), the HPA has produced standard practical advice for healthcare professionals investigating individuals with possible swine influenza infection, including contact details of local health protection units.

5. The Health Protection Agency has updated its advice on actions to be taken in a school in the event of a probable or confirmed case of "swine flu" being identified in a school pupil and this can be found on the HPA website. Measures including deciding to close temporarily or offer antivirals as a precautionary measure are only advised when a case is strongly suspected or confirmed within a school community. These decisions are a matter for local determination on a case by case basis by schools, working with the Health Protection Agency, NHS Primary Care Trusts and local authorities.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised its pandemic alert level to Phase 5. 'This is characterised by human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region. While most countries will not be affected at this stage, the declaration of Phase 5 is a strong signal that pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalise the organisation, communication and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short'. The Agency is well prepared to meet the requirements of phase 5.

For media enquiries only please contact the Health Protection Agency's Centre for Infections press office on:
020 8327 6647  
020 8327 7098   
020 8327 7080   
020 8327 7097
020 8327 6690


Last reviewed: 3 June 2010