Swine flu case confirmed in Lowestoft
A YOUNG man from Lowestoft was last night confirmed as the first case of swine flu in Norfolk or Suffolk.The man, who is in his twenties, was tested for the disease after suffering mild flu-like symptoms following a visit to Florida.
A YOUNG man from Lowestoft was last night confirmed as the first case of swine flu in Norfolk or Suffolk.
The man, who is in his twenties, was tested for the disease after suffering mild flu-like symptoms following a visit to Florida.
Health officials confirmed yesterday that he had tested positive for swine flu and is being treated at his home in the town.
Alistair Lipp, NHS Yarmouth and Waveney's director of public health, said: “His symptoms are mild. He is being treated at home with anti-viral drugs and is responding well to treatment.
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“People who have had close contact with the man have also been given anti-viral drugs.”
There are now 65 confirmed cases of swine flu in the UK, seven of which are in the east of England.
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A spokesman for NHS Yarmouth and Waveney said that no places of work or schools in Lowestoft have been closed because of swine flu.
A Department of Health spokesman said: “Thanks to early diagnosis and treatment with anti-virals, the spread of the virus is being limited and symptoms reduced.”
Dr Lipp said that the area's health service is well-prepared to cope with any more cases of swine flu. “We have extensive plans in place which include stocking up on anti-viral drugs, face masks and cleaning equipment. We are also working closely with the Health Protection Agency, which is assessing all suspected swine flu cases.
“We have the capacity to open an assessment and treatment centre where people could collect anti-viral drugs, should this become necessary if the situation escalates. It is important to stress that services are currently coping well with the level of demand,” he said.
The Lowestoft man was one of four new cases to be confirmed in the east of England yesterday, taking the region's total up to seven.
A man from North Weald in Essex, who is a close contact of an already confirmed case, a child from Canvey Island, Essex, who has returned from travel in Mexico and a woman from Huntingdonshire, were also confirmed as having the disease.
The World Health Organisation pandemic alert level remains at five out of six, indicating that a pandemic is imminent. Good practices can help to reduce the further spread of the virus. This includes covering your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, disposing of dirty tissues, cleaning hard surfaces and maintaining basic personal hygiene.