Eight British schoolchildren have been taken to hospital in Romania with swine flu.
A British Embassy spokeswoman said the group arrived on June 25 as part of an annual exchange programme to work with disabled children in the north-east city of Iasi.
The pupils, aged 16 to 18, are part of a group of 19 and three teachers from the private Sevenoaks School in Kent.
The eight are in isolation at Iasi’s Hospital for Infectious Diseases. British Ambassador Robin Barnett and other embassy officials travelled to Iasi this week to help with the case.
The spokeswoman said British diplomats were working with the school and Romanian public health authorities to decide whether to fly the students home or keep them in the hospital.
Meanwhile, a 19-year-old has been confirmed as the first person in London to die after contracting swine flu.
The young man from south London, who suffered serious underlying health problems, tested positive for the virus following his death on Wednesday.
He is the fourth person with swine flu to die in the UK.
The latest death comes amid warnings that the number of cases could soar to 100,000 a day by the end of next month.
A swine flu sufferer has died in London, health officials have announced.
The fourth person to die in the UK is understood to have been a 19-year-old man from south London who had serious underlying health problems.
He died on Wednesday and tests afterwards found he had the virus.
His was announced a day after it was revealed that the number of new cases could reach 100,000 per day by the end of next month.
Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson, who confirmed on Thursday that the UK has moved past the stage of containing the swine flu outbreak and into the “treatment phase”, said there was no need for people to resort to the internet to self-medicate amid fears over the spread.
He said Britain had a massive stockpile of Tamiflu and would be one of the first countries to have access to a vaccine, with the first supplies arriving at the end of August.
Sir Liam said: “There’s generally a growth in people ordering drugs from the internet worldwide and there’s a lot of concern amongst health authorities that people might buy counterfeit drugs.
“I think this is a similar situation – people shouldn’t buy Tamiflu from the internet. We have got a massive stockpile in this country and everybody can have access to it through the National Health Service.”
Sir Liam added he was “surprised” health services had controlled the virus for as long as they had. The first case in Britain was recorded in April.
He said: “We have been dealing with it very aggressively so far – we have investigated every case, we’ve treated their contacts, we’ve closed schools and all of that has helped slow the spread.
“We are surprised we have been able to run it as long as we have like this. Flu viruses spread extremely quickly so this is very much going as expected.”
Britain’s health secretary warned Thursday the country could soon face more than 100,000 daily cases of swine flu, while fears linked to the virus soared in Argentina after the death toll nearly doubled.
The warning from British Health Secretary Andy Burnham came as a second case of resistance to the key Tamiflu drug in a swine flu patient emerged in less than a week, with the latest in Japan.
The A(H1N1) virus has also now spread to all 27 countries in the European Union, with Malta reporting its first two cases.
Burnham said 100,000 cases a day could occur in Britain by the end of August if the current rate of infection is maintained. Britain already has Europe’s highest number of reported cases.
“Cases are doubling every week, and on this trend we could see over 100,000 cases a day by the end of August, but I stress this is only a projection,” Burnham told the House of Commons, the lower parliamentary chamber.
Britain now had nearly 7,500 cases of swine flu, he said, with hundreds of new cases being confirmed every day.
Health officials have said Britain is abandoning a policy of trying to stop the flu spreading and instead focusing on patients most susceptible to it, such as obese people or those suffering from asthma or breathing problems.
All three people who have died in Britain after contracting swine flu had underlying health problems, health officials have said.
The latest numbers from the World Health Organisation, released on Wednesday, showed 77,201 reported swine flu cases worldwide, with 332 deaths.
On Thursday, Japan’s health ministry reported resistance to Tamiflu in a patient with swine flu, the second in a week after a previous case in Denmark.
The patient — a woman in Osaka prefecture — was recovering after having been given Ralenza, an alternative anti-flu medication, Kyodo news agency reported, citing the Health, Welfare andLabour Ministry.
A spokeswoman for Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Roche, which makes Tamiflu, said the company had been informed of the case and called it “normal,” adding that “0.4 percent of adults develop resistance” to Tamiflu.
This case did not indicate Tamiflu has become less effective against swine flu, she added.
Separately, the US health department said it would provide 420,000 courses of Tamiflu to fight swine flu in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Argentina has surpassed Canada as the country with the most swine flu-linked deaths after the United States and Mexico, and the government there has come under fire for its response to the pandemic.
Swine flu fears in Argentina have been aggravated by the government’s refusal to declare a state of emergency even as the death toll has nearly increased from 26 to at least 43.
New Health Minister Juan Manzur avoided precise numbers at his first press conference Wednesday, finally settling on “between 43 and 44″ as the number of deaths.
The virus spread in Argentina at a time when the government and public were distracted by a campaign for mid-term legislative elections held Sunday.
But fears over flu have increased since the weekend, as public and media attention has shifted from politics to the mounting number of deaths and infections.
On Monday, pharmacies in Argentina ran out of masks, as advice about how to avoid the flu replaced the drama of President Cristina Kirchner’s electoral defeat as the top topic of conversation.
In Australia, authorities said Thursday parents should not panic after the death of a three-year-old with swine flu — its first child death linked to the virus.
Health Minister Nicola Roxon called the death a “tragedy,” but emphasised the virus was mild in most cases.
Meanwhile, the UN World Tourism Organisation has revised its 2009 global tourism forecast sharply down because of the worsening economic outlook and uncertainty over swine flu.
The body forecast that international tourism would decrease between four and six percent this year.