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HUMAN CASE OF NEW SWINE FLU STRAIN FOUND IN NORTH YORKSHIRE

One person in North Yorkshire has been confirmed to have a strain of flu similar to the virus that is spreading in pigs.

UK health officials have said it is the first time the strain has been detected in a human in the UK and the person’s close contacts are being traced.

The case was detected during a routine flu surveillance after it was tested by a GP. The person had a mild illness and has now fully recovered.

Investigations continue into the source of the infection.

The UK Health Security Agency has said it is increasing surveillance within GP surgeries and hospitals in North Yorkshire.

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.

“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.”

There have been 50 human cases of swine flu detected since 2005, however, none are linked to the strain found in North Yorkshire.

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