Posted on June 28th, 2009 No comments
A 24-year-old hospital health worker has become the latest person to be confirmed with swine flu.
Eight patients and three colleagues who came into contact with him at Cardiff’s University of Hospital of Wales have been offered antiviral medicine.
The man did not contract the infection in the hospital and is not in work.
Three others cases have also been confirmed, bringing the total confirmed in Wales to 17. They include an eight-year-old boy from Denbighshire.
A 10-year-old boy from Pembrokeshire and a 22-year-old man from Monmouthshire have also been confirmed to have the flu, the National Public Health Service for Wales (NPHS) said.
Meanwhile, another clinically presumed case involving a 19-year-old woman from Bridgend, who is directly linked to a confirmed case in Exeter, has been announced.
The National Public Health Service for Wales (NPHS) has up until now been testing everyone who has potentially come into contact with swine flu and who has symptoms.
But a spokesman said: “We are moving to the position where swine flu is circulating so freely in the community that we will test very few people as patient’s doctors will assume that anyone with flu-like symptoms has contracted swine flu.
“As part of the transition towards this phase, we are now reporting clinically presumed cases. They are household contacts of confirmed cases of swine flu, who have symptoms of swine flu and are presumed to have swine flu but will not be laboratory tested. ”
He said there was enough evidence of swine flu with these patients for doctors to treat them and testing was “unnecessary” to reach a diagnosis.
So far, 189 people have been under investigation in Wales, with 17 confirmed cases, four clinically presumed cases and swine flu ruled out in 144 cases.
This leaves 24 still under investigation, which the NPHS says all involve people with mild symptoms.
Among the confirmed cases, a 59-year-old woman from Caerphilly, who became unwell in Spain and had been offered antiviral medicine, has been allowed home after hospital treatment.
There are now 4,328 laboratory confirmed cases in the UK – 922 cases in Scotland, 3,364 cases in England and 25 in Northern Ireland.
Chief medical officer for Wales, Dr Tony Jewell, said: “We have made it clear that there would be cases in Wales and that the number of cases would rise. Therefore everyone must continue to be vigilant and try to reduce the spread of the virus.”
Posted on June 28th, 2009 No comments
An elderly man who was suffering from swine flu has died, health officials have confirmed.
The 73-year old was being treated at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley at the time. He died late on Saturday.
A spokesman for the Scottish Government said he was suffering from underlying health complications.
The pensioner, from Inverclyde, passed away late on Saturday night. He is the second person in the UK who was suffering from swine flu to die.
The first death, earlier this month, was a 38-year-old woman who gave birth prematurely while being treated at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. She also had underlying health conditions.
Her death was the first connected to swine flu outside the Americas.
The pensioner who died had been in intensive care for 15 days.
Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the patient at this tragic and very sad time. The family have asked for the patient’s identity to be kept private.
“Although it is concerning that the patient had swine flu, we are aware that the patient had very serious underlying health issues.
“It’s important to remember that the vast majority of those who have H1N1 are suffering from relatively mild symptoms.
A family spokesperson said: “Our beloved relative was private in life and we would ask that his privacy continues to be respected as we try to come to terms with our loss.”
Dr Harry Burns, Scotland’s chief medical officer, said the death was a “tragedy” but also underlined that it was only the second death from swine flu in well over 4,000 cases in the UK.
He told the BBC: “It’s a tragedy, but it doesn’t change our view that this is no more serious than winter flu.
“In fact this is the second case in about four and a half thousand cases that we’ve seen in the UK and that makes it a lot less severe, much less aggressive than we would normally see with a winter flu virus.
“What happens with winter flu is there is no publicity,” he added.
According to the latest available figures, there were 4,250 laboratory confirmed cases in the UK on Friday.
Of these, 3,364 cases are in England, 850 in Scotland and 24 in Northern Ireland.
Four new cases were confirmed in Wales on Sunday bringing the total to 17.
It also emerged on Saturday that three people attending the Glastonbury Festival have been diagnosed with suspected swine flu.
Two students and a 10-year-old child from a family of four showed symptoms of the illness when examined by festival medical staff.
The students, from Exeter and Edinburgh universities, and the family were moved off the festival site and into an isolation facility.
They have since returned home.
The H1N1 virus first emerged in April in Mexico, which has recorded 116 deaths and 8,279 cases, according to the World Health Organisation.
On 11 June, the WHO declared a global flu pandemic, meaning that swine flu virus was spreading in at least two regions of the world.
Officials stressed that this did not mean the virus was causing more severe illness or more deaths.
According to the latest figures from the WHO, there have been 263 deaths and nearly 60,000 cases in some 100 countries and territories.