Page last updated at 11:07 GMT, Monday, 1 June 2009 12:07 UK

Swine flu case in Wales confirmed

Man with hankerchief (generic)
Medical experts have warned people to remain vigilant

The first case of swine flu has been confirmed in Wales, according to health chiefs.

A 31-year-old man from the Caerphilly local authority area has had mild flu symptoms, and has been offered antivirals and is recovering at home.

Health officials say the infection is linked to his travel to the USA.

The chief medical officer for Wales said it is likely further cases will emerge and he urged people to be vigilant.

A total of 98 people have been under investigation for swine flu across Wales.

As well as the one confirmed case, it has been ruled out in 89 cases, leaving eight still under investigation. All of these are displaying, or have displayed mild symptoms.

HYGIENE ADVICE
Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue where possible
Dispose of tissues promptly and carefully
Wash hands frequently with soap and water
Clean hard surfaces such as door handles regularly with a normal cleaning product
Help your children to follow hygiene advice
Source: National Public Health Service for Wales/Welsh Assembly Government

There are now 230 confirmed cases in the UK - one case in Wales, 17 cases in Scotland, 211 cases in England and one in Northern Ireland.

In Wales, the affected man's close family contacts are all well, and have also been offered antiviral medication.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Jewell, said: "We have made it clear all along that there would be cases in Wales and everyone must continue to be vigilant and try to reduce the spread of the virus.

"It is likely that further cases will continue to emerge and we are continuing to monitor the situation very closely.

"However, while numbers remain low, our focus continues to be on learning as much as we can about the virus and working to slow its spread.

Although it is natural for people to feel apprehensive, we would like to reassure the public that we have been working to prepare for the arrival of the virus for many years and have robust procedures in place
Dr Tony Jewell

"Our advice to the public remains the same, people should follow good respiratory and hand hygiene to help prevent the spread of influenza - always using a tissue to catch sneezes, throwing away used tissues where germs can linger and regularly washing your hands, or cleaning them with a sanitising gel."

Dr Roland Salmon, director of the communicable disease surveillance centre, National Public Health Service for Wales, added: "We continue to advise that anyone who has flu-like symptoms and has travelled to one of the affected areas should stay at home and phone their GP or NHS Direct Wales.

"People should not go to accident and emergency departments or to their GP surgery without ringing first, as this may risk spreading the infection. It also places undue pressure on the emergency services.

"Although there are indications that this flu is mild, we know that seasonal flu can be severe, particularly for elderly and vulnerable people, so there is still good reason for us all to take action to reduce its effects."

NHS Direct can be contacted on 0845 46 47.



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