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First swine flu case in Barking and Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 13:38 04 June 2009 | UPDATED: 11:04 11 August 2010

A BOROUGH resident who recently returned from America has tested positive for swine flu – a disease doctors believe could become pandemic. The unnamed patient was treated with anti-viral drugs and is said to be recovering well at home. Doctors from the

A BOROUGH resident who recently returned from America has tested positive for swine flu - a disease doctors believe could become pandemic.

The unnamed patient was treated with anti-viral drugs and is said to be recovering well at home.

Doctors from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) will also test friends and family who have had close contact with the infected person.

Matthew Cole, Director of Public Health at NHS Barking and Dagenham, said:

"We can confirm that an adult from the borough tested positive for swine flu after returning from the US.

"To protect patient confidentiality, we will not be providing further information that may lead to the identification of the individual."

This is the first case of swine flu in Barking and Dagenham since the infection broke out in Mexico in April.

In the UK there are now 255 confirmed cases of the disease.

The world pandemic alert status still remains at five and though the infection seems to be spreading widely most cases outside of Mexico have been mild.

No-one has died from swine flu in the UK but one man in Paisley, Scotland, is critically ill due to the infection.

So far there have been deaths in Mexico, America, Canada and Costa Rica.

The borough's Influenza Planning Committee, which includes NHS Barking and Dagenham, the council and police, meets regularly to ensure they are fully prepared to deal with any stage of alert.

HPA advice states that if you return from an affected area and become unwell within seven days of your return or if you have been in contact with a confirmed or probable case of swine flu you should stay at home and contact your GP or NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

You will be assessed and, if necessary, testing and treatment will be provided.

For more information visit www.bdpct.nhs.uk.

The main message for the general public is to follow hygiene advice including Catch It; Bin It; Kill It, to avoid spreading infection.


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