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Swine flu pandemic predicted for autumn

By Steve Nowottny

A swine flu pandemic is likely to hit Britain this autumn as temperatures lower and people return to work, university and schools, a leading flu expert predicted this week.

Professor John Oxford, of Queen Mary School of Medicine, University of London, said sporadic cases occurring across the UK which were not linked with travel suggested that the virus was ‘silently spreading'.

The total number of confirmed swine flu cases in the UK today rose to 255, whilst globally more than 15,000 cases have been reported across 53 countries.

And a Health Protection Agency scheme which collects virological samples from patients with influenza-like illness in 65 practices across the country has been reinstated, as surveillance is stepped up.

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