UK records case of never-before-seen swine flu as health chiefs scramble to track down contacts of Brit left battling ‘mild’ illness
- The unidentified individual tested positive for the illness after a visit to their GP
- The strain is different from the H1N1 swine flu that triggered the 2009 outbreak
One Brit has contracted a never-before-seen strain of swine flu, health officials have revealed.
The unidentified individual, thought to be from north Yorkshire, tested positive for the illness after visiting their GP when ‘experiencing respiratory symptoms’, the UK Health Security (UKHSA) said.
Health chiefs have not yet identified the source of infection and are scrambling to track down all contacts of the Brit who was left with ‘mild’ symptoms.
The strain, H1N2, can be passed from ill pigs to humans, but only in rare cases spreads between humans.
It is different from the H1N1 swine flu that triggered the 2009 outbreak, which saw 457 deaths in the UK alone.
The strain, H1N2, can be passed from ill pigs to humans, but only in rare cases spreads between humans. It is different from the H1N1 swine flu that triggered the 2009 outbreak, which saw 457 deaths in the UK alone
Swine flu surges in pigs around the fall months, raising the risk of the disease spilling over into humans.
People who become infected tend to suffer similar symptoms to seasonal flu, including fever, cough, runny nose and body aches.
But cases are normally mild and clear up on their own in a few weeks. There is little risk of death.
Scientists say, however, that children under five, people over 65, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions are more at risk of complications if they become infected.
The case was detected as part of routine national flu surveillance undertaken by the UKHSA and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).
Meera Chand, incident director at UKHSA, said: ‘It is thanks to routine flu surveillance and genome sequencing that we have been able to detect this virus.
‘This is the first time we have detected this virus in humans in the UK, though it is very similar to viruses that have been detected in pigs.’
She added: ‘We are working rapidly to trace close contacts and reduce any potential spread.
‘In accordance with established protocols, investigations are underway to learn how the individual acquired the infection and to assess whether there are any further associated cases.’
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