Page last updated at 15:05 GMT, Thursday, 2 July 2009 16:05 UK

Four new cases of NI swine flu

H1N1 bacteria
The swine flu virus has been confirmed in four children

Four new cases of swine flu have been confirmed in Northern Ireland.

A sibling of a child at St Ronan's primary school, Newry, County Down, who already has the virus, has now been diagnosed.

The school shut early for summer. Three adults who have recently returned from abroad also have the virus. All are recovering well.

The latest cases bring the total number of people with swine flu in Northern Ireland to 38 - four of them children.

Health Minister Michael McGimpsey said antivirals would continue to be offered to people who have contracted swine flu.

"The fact that many people will recover from swine flu without anti-virals means it is important that individuals and GPs are able to make an informed decision about appropriate treatment," he said.

"Expert advice emphasises the high importance of treatment with anti-virals for those in the higher risk groups.

"So, we will issue clear guidance to doctors to ensure that those at higher risk get priority access to anti-virals, within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms."

Last week, Mr McGimpsey said that one third of the population in Northern Ireland could be infected with swine flu in the autumn.

Mr McGimpsey said £53m had already been spent dealing with the outbreak and that figure was rising.

He said anti-virals would no longer be prescribed to everyone who has come into contact with an infected person.



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