First case of swine flu in region

A MAN from Essex has tested positive for swine flu.

A MAN from Essex has tested positive for swine flu.

The man from Clacton, who has not been named, is believed to have caught the virus on a recent trip abroad, according to a spokesperson from NHS East of England.

He is one of four new cases of swine flu diagnosed in England today. This brings the tally of UK cases to 32.

Those newly diagnosed are all adults and are spread across England, in the North West, East, East Midlands and West Midlands.

Mike Gogarty, director of public health for NHS North East Essex said: “I can confirm that a man from Clacton, a returning traveller, has tested positive for Swine flu. He has been given antivirals and is responding well to treatment in his own home.

“The local NHS services have in place robust plans to tackle Swine flu.

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“We keep our plans under regular review and have published a range of guides that support health and social care services to develop pandemic action plans including acute trusts (secondary care trusts) primary care trusts, ambulance trusts and social care trusts.

“They offer practical advice and suggestions for actions needed by GP practices now and in the event of a pandemic.”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health added: “Four new cases of swine flu have been

confirmed in England today.

“The new cases are all adults associated with travel to Mexico.

“It is right that we are preparing for the possibility of a global pandemic. The UK's arrangements are continuing to ensure that we are well-placed to deal with this new infection.”

All four people diagnosed today have recently returned from Mexico, the Health

Protection Agency (HPA) said.

Mr Gogarty reinforced the simple steps everyone can take to prevent catching colds and flu, promoting the good respiratory and hand hygiene messages.

He said: “If people are concerned because they have been to Mexico or other affected areas and are developing influenza-like symptoms, don't go to your GP. Stay at home, call your GP or contact NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or via the web at”

Check the website for further updates.