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MEXICAN SWINE FLU - Department of Health Statement

28 Apr 09

Statement from the Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson:

The World Health Organisation has changed the alert to stage four. This means there are small clusters of outbreaks with limited person-to-person transmission. Spread is highly localised, suggesting that the virus is not well adapted to humans.

There have been two confirmed cases of Mexican swine flu in the UK.

From some affected areas, it appears that early doses of antivirals such as Tamiflu are helping people to recover. We have enough antivirals to treat half the population of the UK if they become ill.

We have been preparing for the possibility for a number of years and are among the most prepared countries in the world.

There are simple steps that everyone can take to help prevent catching colds and flu based on good respiratory and hand hygiene. Always use a tissue to catch your sneezes, throw away used tissues where germs can linger and regularly wash your hands.

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