Page last updated at 21:58 GMT, Monday, 4 May 2009 22:58 UK
Five new UK flu cases confirmed



Parents say Alleyn's School has everything under control

Another nine UK cases of swine flu have been confirmed, taking the total to 27, the Health Protection Agency has said.

Five of those diagnosed with the H1N1 virus are year seven pupils at Alleyn's School in Dulwich, London, which has announced it will close.

All 1,200 pupils plus staff are receiving Tamiflu antiviral drugs.

On Monday night, it emerged another school, Dolphin School in Battersea, London, had also been closed as a precaution - the fifth in the UK.

A spokeswoman for NHS Wandsworth said that the two Dolphin pupils confirmed with swine flu were siblings of pupils at Alleyn's.

Since displaying symptoms, the pupils had not attended school.

A message on the Dolphin School's answering machine said: "As a precautionary measure, the governors and senior team have decided to close the school for the next few days.

"You will be informed by the end of the week when children should return. If you or your family is unwell please contact your GP in the normal way."

The two other new cases confirmed on Monday were adults who had visited Mexico.

Map of swine flu outbreak

'Play safe'

Alleyn's, which is an independent school, has said it will be shut for at least seven days.

Dr Ann Marie Connolly, director of public health at Southwark Primary Care Trust, said the symptoms were "relatively mild" and all five Alleyn's pupils were responding well to treatment.

She said the source of the outbreak was being investigated and all the contacts of each of the pupils were being offered antiviral treatment.

Headmaster Colin Diggory is contacting exam boards to reschedule some exams, he said in a statement on the school website.

A Department of Health spokesperson said seven of the nine new cases involved person-to-person contact.

"The arrangements in place across the UK are continuing to ensure that we are well-placed to deal with this new infection," the spokesman added.

However, Health Secretary Alan Johnson told the BBC he expects a second, more serious, wave of cases later this year.

It's still like seasonal flu - and seasonal flu does kill
Dr John McCauley
Virologist

There are now 23 cases in England and four in Scotland, the DoH said. The tally in London has reached 13, according to NHS London.

Swine flu has closed three other schools - South Hampstead High School in north west London, Downend in South Gloucestershire and Paignton Community and Sports College in Devon.

Classrooms at South Hampstead have been closed until at least Thursday after a 14-year-old girl from Barnet in year nine was diagnosed with the virus.

Antiviral drugs have been been offered to her year group and special arrangements are being made for upcoming exams.

In a letter to parents on its website, the independent school said the girl was "at home and well".

An 11-year-old girl from south-west London who had visited the US as well as a man from Ayrshire are also amongst those who have contracted swine flu.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said the 11-year-old's school will remain open as the child "did not attend school while symptomatic".

Jonathan Davies

Several Britons are still under quarantine in a Hong Kong hotel after a guest there became China's first confirmed case of swine flu.

Eddie Sweeney and his wife Terry, from Buckinghamshire, checked into the Metropark Hotel on Thursday for two days but were told on Friday they and about 300 other guests would be confined to the building for a week.

Mr Sweeney told BBC News: "Effectively we're in our rooms, apart from going to collect meals. Some of us are using the stairs as a way of exercise. Otherwise we're confined."

Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said there was one further probable swine flu case in Scotland, in addition to the four already confirmed.

It involves a woman from Fife who travelled from Las Vegas to Edinburgh via London on 30 April.

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Swine flu leaflet
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Bin tissues after use
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She said eight of the 10 people regarded as close contacts of the man from Ayrshire on flight BE7096 on 30 April had been traced, none of whom were showing any symptoms.

He is thought to have picked up swine flu while in Texas and was diagnosed with the virus on Sunday.

Cases have been confirmed in Newcastle, Oxfordshire, Devon, Merseyside, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, as well as London and Central Scotland.

A six-year-old girl in Oxfordshire diagnosed with the flu has made a full recovery, doctors have told the BBC.

Health chiefs are awaiting the results of around 300 more tests.

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn told GMTV the outbreak was less severe than first thought, but people should "play safe".

Two previous cases had seen Britons falling ill without having travelled to Mexico.

Barry Greatorex, 43, from South Gloucestershire, had been in contact with a traveller to the country.

And Graeme Pacitti, of Falkirk, was infected through contact with the first British people to develop the flu.

Information leaflets about how to reduce the chances of spreading infection are to be sent to people's homes from Tuesday.

Members of the public can call 0800 1513513 for recorded information about swine flu. The number for NHS 24 in Scotland is 08454 24 24 24.


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