Swine flu hits 1,000—with 50 confirmed cases so far

MORE than 1,000 people have been hit with symptoms of swine flu so far in London’s East End. The number struck down is rising rapidly, with 50 cases confirmed so far and 1,300 feeling the symptoms, today figures show

By Gemma Collins

MORE than 1,000 people have been hit with symptoms of swine flu so far in London’s East End, latest public health figures show.

The number struck down is rising rapidly, with 50 cases confirmed so far and 1,300 feeling the symptoms, it has emerged today.

But NHS Tower Hamlets have promised it is fully prepared for the pandemic with the virus proving to be “a mild illness” lasting only 48 hours and being less severe than normal winter flu.

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The trust’s public health director Dr Ian Basnett said: “We’re seeing a regular increase in cases, spreading quickly. It is going to put a strain on services in the future.

“But this is a virus that is mild to most people and they can recover within days.”

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It is people with existing conditions including problems with their immune system or heart disease who will be most affected, he adds. But the scale is not as bad as had been feared.

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The rapid spread of the infection has prompted NHS bosses in East London to set up an antiviral help point at Mile End Hospital for flu friends’ of the patients to pick up their prescriptions for the drug Tamiflu.

A substantial proportion of children have also been hit with swine flu.

The Government has ruled that it is no longer necessary to contain the virus by keeping schools closed because it has spread everywhere.

Anyone with suspected symptoms is being advised to stay at home and contact their GP, or NHS Direct on 0845-4647.

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