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Update on confirmed swine flu cases

11 June 2009

25 further patients under investigation in England have today been confirmed with swine flu. Together with the 47 cases in Scotland announced yesterday (June 10 2009) by the Scottish Government and this brings the current total number of confirmed UK cases to 822.


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

Region where sample  was tested *

Confirmed new cases for June 11 2009

Total confirmed cases as at June 11 2009

East of England

1

44

East Midlands

-

12

London

4

135

North East

4

16**

North West

-

16

South East

5

79

South West

1

14

West Midlands

10

171

Yorkshire & Humber

-

15**

TOTAL ENGLAND

25

502

Northern Ireland

-

7

Scotland

-

311

Wales

-

2

TOTAL UK

25

822


*New testing arrangements mean that the regional breakdown of figures reflects the regional laboratory where samples are tested which may not always be in the region where the patient lives

(**as a result there may be some small variations in regional figures as cases are reassigned to their home regions.)

866 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.

Anyone who is being investigated as a possible case of swine flu (which means they meet the epidemiological criteria and have symptoms) or has been confirmed with the infection will be offered antivirals and will be asked to stay at home and limit their contact with other people.  

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. 

It is important for parents and schools to be vigilant and take prompt action if children who have travelled abroad during the half term break start showing flu-like symptoms.

If travellers become ill while on holiday, on the flight home, or on their return:

  • Travellers should continue to be aware of the risk of swine flu and anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms during a stay in a country affected by swine flu should contact a health professional and inform them of their symptoms.
  • Anyone who becomes ill on their flight home should alert cabin crew to their symptoms. There are well established procedures in place for dealing with passengers who become unwell on flights and the airline will advise port health officials on the ground that a passenger requires a health assessment and may need treatment.
  • Travellers returning from a country affected by swine flu who become unwell with flu-like symptoms within seven days of their return should stay at home and contact their GP or NHS Direct on 0845 4647.
  • To access the Department of Health Swine Flu Information line when abroad, call 00 44 207 928 1010.

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

  • Maintaining good basic hygiene, for example washing hands frequently with soap and water to reduce the spread of virus from your hands to face or to other people.
  • Cleaning hard surfaces (e.g. door handles) frequently using a normal cleaning product.
  • Covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue when possible.
  • Disposing of dirty tissues promptly and carefully.
  • Making sure your children follow this advice.

Ends

Notes to editors

Since the beginning of the swine flu outbreak the HPA's Centre for Infections (CfI) has been working on developing a swine flu test which can be used by the agency's network of regional laboratories and does not require final confirmatory testing to be carried out by CfI's national reference laboratory.  This test has now been successfully introduced in the regional laboratories and to the Devolved Administrations. 

From Monday June 01 2009 tests are no longer being run centrally but regionally.  This means that results will come through more rapidly but the level of epidemiological detail immediately available on confirmed cases will be less. This is reflected in the information contained in these statements.

Further information on swine flu is available on the Health Protection Agency's website at www.hpa.org.uk/swineflu
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  http://www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1240986139568
The Health Protection Agency is providing expert advice and support to the UK government, NHS and other organisations. This includes:

  1. 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.
  2. Specialist liaison to the UK Embassy in Mexico to aid the UK effort to tackle swine flu.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

To help us identify cases of swine flu in the community, the Health Protection Agency's Centre for Infections will be continuing its regular surveillance work throughout the summer, at the same pace that is applied during the normal "flu season" (October to May).

In England this surveillance work includes the collection of data from 3,300 GP surgeries across the country, and the testing of patient samples from over 100 surgeries. Information on flu activity is also provided by a network of boarding schools and NHS Direct.

To further enhance our ability to detect cases of swine flu, the HPA is issuing regular guidance to GPs on the testing of possible cases. Plans to increase the number of surgeries participating in surveillance schemes, and to facilitate more widespread testing in communities where cases of swine flu have been identified, are currently being implemented.

This can be found at:
http://www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAweb&HPAwebStandard/HPAweb_C/1242949546976

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 7080  
020 8327 6647
020 8327 7098  
020 8327 7097
020 8327 6690

Last reviewed: 3 June 2010