Britain confirms first 'non-imported' swine flu cases



LONDON - Two cases of swine flu apparently transmitted to people who had not travelled recently to Mexico were reported Friday by authorities in Britain, as the number infected there rose to 13.
Graeme Pacitti, 24, of central Scotland, tested positive for the influenza A(H1N1) virus after coming into contact with a friend infected during his honeymoon in Mexico.
Meanwhile, a man in his 40s in Gloucestershire, southwest England, has also been diagnosed with an internal case of swine flu.



Britain confirms first 'non-imported' swine flu cases
"The first non-imported cases of swine flu have been confirmed in England and Scotland," the British government's chief medical advisor Liam Donaldson said late Friday.
"The infection appears to have been acquired by person-to-person spread within the United Kingdom.
"Until now, cases were confined to people who had themselves recently come back from Mexico. The person in the southwest is being treated with Tamiflu."
There are now 10 confirmed cases in England and three in Scotland, officials say -- all said to involve mild symptoms.
An official said the second case was not linked to that of a 12-year-old girl in the same English region diagnosed with the illness after flying in from Mexico last week on the same flight as the honeymoon couple.
Iain Askham was released from hospital on Thursday after spending five nights in quarantine following his and new wife Dawn's diagnosis.
Pacitti, a clerical worker in state health provision, said he had met his friend after his ordeal.
"I saw Iain (Askham) last Thursday, he wasn't showing any symptoms then. My friends thought he looked a bit tired but we thought it was just jet-lag."
The unnamed girl's school has been closed and will not reopen until May 11, with students in her year also given a flu remedy.
The regional director of public health for southwest England said there was no need to panic over fears that classmates could pick up the disease.
"It is difficult to know at this stage whether the flight from Mexico had anything to do with it," Gabriel Scally added.
He later told the BBC that the case of the man in his 40s in Gloucestershire was "completely unconnected" to the case of the 12-year-old girl.
The swine flu virus originated in Mexico, where it has killed at least 15 people and infected more than 320.
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Saturday, May 2nd 2009
AFP
           


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