UK on Swine Flu alert as two cases confirmed in Scotland

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by SHAUN MILNE

BREAKING NEWS: BRITAIN was on full Swine Flu  alert last night after health officials confirmed tests on two people being monitored for the virus in Scotland had come back positive.

Seven others who had close contact with two patients being treated in Lanarkshire are also displaying symptons. Tests were underway last night to see how badly they had been affected.Health Spending Plan

They were among a group of 22 people being “managed appropriately”.

In a statement the Scottish Government said the  two infected patients were were being treated in Monkland’s Hospital in Airdrie, Lanarkshire.

They added: “A further seven people from the contact group of the infected people are displaying mild symptoms and are undergoing tests”.

Deputy First Minister and Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “I can confirm that tests have demonstrated conclusively that the two Scottish cases of suspected swine flu are positive.

“However, I am pleased to say both patients are recovering well.”

She added: “In addition, there are currently a further seven people among the 22 who have been in contact with the two infected people, who have now developed mild symptoms and are being appropriately cared for.

“I would reiterate that the threat to the public remains low and that the precautionary actions we have taken over the last two days have been important in allowing us to respond appropriately and give us the best prospect of disrupting the spread of the virus.

“However, this is a developing situation which we continue to monitor very closely, in conjunction with our colleagues in other parts of the UK and the World Health Organisation.

“We remain very encouraged by the fact that, outside Mexico, everyone who has contracted swine flu has experienced mild symptoms only.”

The Scottish Government said it was in close contact with Scottish NHS boards, which she said were “well prepared” to respond to any further suspected cases.

It also claimed that, as part of its pandemic flu preparations, “significant” stockpiles of two antiviral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza both of which have been effective in treating cases of the H1N1 strain of swine flu in other countries.

The statement added: “The Scottish Government has encouraged people to take simple infection control precautions, such as hand washing and covering their mouth when they cough or sneeze.

“Anyone who develops flu-like symptoms or who has recently returned from one of the affected areas and is worried about their health should contact NHS 24 [     08454 24 24 24     ] or their GP.”

Ms Sturgeon said that “patient confidentiality” meant she would not comment further on who they were or their condition.

However it was understood the two had returned from Mexico to Scotland last Tuesday.

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