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Swine flu diagnosis for two patients in Wishaw hospital

Wishaw General Hospital Sinw Flu

The patients, who have been diagnosed with the H1N1 strain of influenza, are being kept under observation at Wishaw General Hospital in North Lanarkshire.

Dr Femi Oshin, consultant in public health medicine at NHS Lanarkshire, said: “Although there are low levels of influenza overall this winter, H1N1, also known as swine flu, is reported to be the main flu virus circulating in the community.

“It is, therefore, to be expected that we will see some cases of H1N1 in Lanarkshire at this time.

“The seasonal influenza vaccination is the best way to protect yourself against flu, including H1N1.

“The annual flu vaccine is available free to pregnant women as well as other eligible groups including people over 65, those who have certain health conditions, healthy children aged two, three and four plus children in school years one and two, and people who work in healthcare.

“If you are in one of the eligible groups, one of the ways of getting vaccinated is by contacting your GP.”

The virus was first identified in Mexico in April 2009 and was also known as Mexican flu.

It became known as swine flu because the virus closely resembled known influenza viruses that cause illness in pigs.

It spread rapidly from country to country because it was a new type of flu virus that few people were immune to.

More than 350 people died in the UK after contracting swine flu in 2009.