Swine flu confirmed in UK

The first British cases of the deadly swine flu responsible for dozens of deaths in Mexico were confirmed tonight .

Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon told a press conference in Edinburgh: “I can confirm that tests have demonstrated conclusively that the two Scottish cases of swine flu are positive.”

Ms Sturgeon added that both patients, at Monklands Hospital in Airdrie, Lanarkshire, are “recovering well”.

Ms Sturgeon said that a further seven people among the 22 who had been in contact with the two infected individuals have developed ``mild symptoms'' which have not been comfirmed as swine flu and are being ``appropriately cared for''.

She added they were receiving drugs at home, not in hospital.

Ms Sturgeon added: “I would reiterate that the threat to the public remains low and that the precautionary actions we have taken over the last two days have been important in allowing us to respond appropriately and give us the best prospect of disrupting the spread of the virus.

“However, this is a developing situation which we continue to monitor very closely, in conjunction with our colleagues in other parts of the UK and the World Health Organisation.”

The Scottish government is encouraging people to take simple infection control precautions such as hand-washing and covering their mouth when they cough or sneeze.

The two infected people were being kept in hospital after showing flu-like symptoms, following a trip to Mexico, where more than 100 people have been killed in an outbreak.

“We remain very encouraged by the fact that outside Mexico everyone who has contracted swine flu has experienced mild symptoms only.”

The Scottish government is liaising with NHS boards north of the border and has significant stockpiles of two anti-viral drugs – Tamiflu and Relenza – both of which have been effective in treating the H1N1 strain of swine flu in other countries.

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