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25 June, 2024
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First case of swine flu strain detected in UK

Authorities trace contacts as first human case emerges


In a recent development, health officials in the UK have confirmed the detection of a person infected with a strain of flu akin to viruses observed in pigs. This marks the first instance of such a strain in the country, prompting investigations into the source of the infection.

The A(H1N2)v case came to light after a routine test at a GP surgery underwent laboratory analysis. The individual experienced respiratory symptoms, had a mild illness, and has since fully recovered. Close contacts are now being traced as part of precautionary measures.

While there have been 50 cases of A(H1N2)v reported globally in the past 20 years, this particular infection in the UK shows slight variations from recent human cases of swine flu worldwide. Health officials note its similarity to viruses found in UK pigs.

The UK Health Security Agency has initiated plans to enhance surveillance in GP surgeries and hospitals, particularly in parts of North Yorkshire where the case was detected. Meera Chand, the agency's incident director, emphasized the swift tracing of close contacts to mitigate potential spread. Investigations are ongoing to determine how the individual acquired the infection and if there are any additional associated cases.

Reflecting on the 2009 pandemic of swine flu, caused by a virus spreading in pigs, birds, and humans, the UK Health Security Agency remains vigilant. They advise individuals with flu-like symptoms to avoid contact with others, especially those who are elderly or vulnerable with underlying health conditions.

Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss underscores the importance of high standards in animal health, welfare, and biosecurity. Pig owners are urged to report any signs of swine flu in their herds to local veterinarians to prevent further spread of the virus to humans.

[With information sourced from BBC]

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