Swine flu hits borough

THE first swine flu case in Barking and Dagenham was confirmed on Tuesday night. Health bosses are not releasing the patient s age or sex but say it is an adult who has returned from a trip to the US and is being treated at home with anti-viral drugs. No

THE first swine flu case in Barking and Dagenham was confirmed on Tuesday night.

Health bosses are not releasing the patient's age or sex but say it is an adult who has returned from a trip to the US and is being treated at home with anti-viral drugs.

No buildings or organisations in Barking and Dagenham have shut down as a result, but the borough's Influenza Planning Committee - including police, council and health bosses - is on alert.

Matthew Cole, NHS Barking and Dagenham director of public health, said: "The Health Protection Agency is following up all those friends and family who have come into close contact with the patient to offer them anti-virals as necessary.


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

The global pandemic has so far reached 53 countries, with 17,436 cases of illness. A hundred and thirteen people had died - in Mexico, the US, Canada, and Costa Rica - by Tuesday.

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There were 339 confirmed cases in the UK this week, with 91 in London, including Redbridge and Tower Hamlets. A significant surge is expected this autumn.

An NHS Barking and Dagenham spokesman said: "Local people should not be concerned, but should ensure they follow the general hygiene advice: Catch it, bin it, kill it."

Anyone feeling unwell within seven days of returning from abroad should call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

Are you, or do you know, the swine flu victim? Email john.phillips@bdrecorder.co.uk

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