Page last updated at 10:52 GMT, Sunday, 21 June 2009 11:52 UK

Region swine flu cases total 860

More than 100 new cases of swine flu have emerged in the West Midlands.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said the 112 cases mean there are now 860 in the region, more than half the total number in England.

On Wednesday, health officials said the spread of the virus in Birmingham could not be contained and they wanted to move to "mitigating" the outbreak.

A Worcestershire school will remain closed for an extra two days to try to stop the virus spreading.

Isolate virus

A pupil at Nunnery Wood High School in Worcester was diagnosed with the virus on 12 June.

It closed on Tuesday after four new cases and 17 students are awaiting test results.

Bilton Grange school near Rugby in Warwickshire closed on Friday after a pupil fell ill. It will reopen on 26 June.

Confirming the virus can no longer be contained in Birmingham, Sean Connolly, director of resources in the city, said a different approach to treatment was now required.

Under the containment policy all those people who may potentially have come into contact with an infected individual are offered anti-viral drugs.

School outbreak

The aim is effectively to isolate the virus, allowing no opportunity for it to spread further.

But once cases become too frequent to contain, drugs are only given to those people, such as family members, who are at significant risk of infection.

Officials have blamed the extent of the virus in the West Midlands on an outbreak at Welford Primary School, Handsworth, Birmingham.

It shut in May, with nearly 200 people connected to the school diagnosed with the virus. It has since been reopened.



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