UK may confirm first swine flu human transmission

May 1st, 2009 - 7:07 pm ICT by ANI  

London, May 1 (ANI): Britain’s first human-to-human transmission of swine flu could be confirmed today.

Twenty-four-year-old Graeme Pacitti may end up being Britain’s first case of human-to-human transfer of swine flu. Results are expected shortly on the health worker’s medical condition who fell ill after coming into contact with Britain’s first sufferer Iain Askham, who had just returned with his wife from their honeymoon in Mexico.

Pacitti was initially cleared but continued to show symptoms and further tests confirmed he was suffering from Type A flu, the strain that includes swine flu.

Meanwhile, the German health ministry confirmed this morning that a Bavarian woman who has not been to Mexico has been infected with the virus.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has put the total confirmed cases worldwide at 331.

Human-to-human infection had previously only been confirmed in Mexico and the US.

The British Department of Health has predicted that up to 1.2 million people could be hospitalised and 750,000 killed if a flu pandemic sweeps the nation.

A draft forecast prepared last September warned that up to half the British population - or 30 million people - could get influenza if the bug outbreak turns into a pandemic.

The Department of Health document seen by The Daily Telegraph warns that, during the peak of a flu pandemic, complications such as pneumonia could mean there are 10 times as many people requiring ventilators as the NHS can supply.

If demand cannot be met, it recommends doctors deny treatment to the weakest patients so that resources can be shared among the greatest number.

The draft document, which was written in September before the outbreak of swine flu, acknowledges that its recommendations open “controversial ethical issues” and could cause anger and violence from relatives of those refused care. (ANI)

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