22/05/2009

Suspected Swine Flu Case 'Negative'

Another potential case of Swine Flu in Northern Ireland has proved to be a false alarm.

The Department of Health has confirmed this afternoon that so far the province has only reported one confirmed case of the infection.

Their daily update said there has been a total of 80 other suspected cases - all of which came back negative.

While the World Health Organisation is continuing its Alert Phase 5 -which means WHO consider a global pandemic to be imminent - locally, the health department continues to insist it is well prepared for any potential pandemic.

As part of its plans, the department has 'sleeping contracts' in place with drugs manufacturers.

All confirmed cases of swine flu across the UK have all been relatively mild so far, and responded well to antiviral treatment.
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The strategy to use antivirals to contain the spread of the virus appears to have been effective in reducing the spread of the virus, as well as reducing symptoms, according to health officials.

Anyone who has travelled to Mexico or other affected areas within the last week and develops flu-like illness has been advised to stay at home and seek medical advice from a GP.

The GP will then contact the Public Health Agency who will ensure that any person who needs further investigation and treatment will be followed up promptly.

The Northern Ireland helpline is 0800 0 514 142. This freephone helpline is for those who have recently returned from Mexico, the USA or other affected areas and are worried and need more information.

See: Diabetics At Higher Risk Of Swine Flu

(PR/JM)

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