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UK's first swine flu cases confirmed in Scotland

By Lilian Anekwe

The UK's first cases of swine flu have been confirmed in a couple who returned home to Falkirk in Scotland from a holiday in Mexico last week.

The Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said both individuals were recovering in a Lanarkshire hospital from mild cases of the H1N1 virus.

Ms Sturgeon said: ‘I would reiterate that the threat to the public remains low. The precautionary actions we have taken over the last two days have been important in allowing us to respond appropriately and give us the best prospect of disrupting the spread of the virus.'

Last night health secretary Alan Johnson told the House of Commons there were a total of 25 cases under investigation.

Nine of those cases have tested negative for H1N1, while 14 are still under initial investigation and are being managed in the community.

Mr Johnson confirmed the Department of Health has a stockpile of 33m doses of the antiviral Tamiflu – enough for half of the population – which would be used to treat symptomatic members of the population in the event of a pandemic.

Meanwhile the UK foreign office is advising against all but essential travel to Mexico which is at the centre of the outbreak, and the World Health Organization has raised its alert level to four - two steps short of declaring a pandemic.

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