Symptoms to spot after first human case of new swine flu strain detected in UK

The first confirmed human case of a new strain of swine flu has been found in the UK.

The A(H1N2)v infection was detected in a routine flu screening test at a GP surgery in North Yorkshire.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) announced on Monday 27 November the person had respiratory symptoms, but a mild illness, and had now fully recovered.

They are not known to have worked with pigs so investigations are looking at where the infection came from and its risk to other humans.

Human infections with swine flu viruses do occur with 50 cases of A(H1N2)v reported globally in the past 20 years.

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Because A(H1N2)v is a very new strain, information on symptoms is limited. Abbas Kanani, pharmacist at Online Pharmacy Chemist Click, said: “With Influenza A virus subtype H1N1, also known as the swine flu, symptoms include a cough, sore throat, aching body, headache, feeling chilly and very tired.

“We do not know yet as to whether this A(H1N2)v carries similar symptoms, but what we do know is that the patient experienced respiratory symptoms.”

The UKHSA has listed the symptoms of respiratory infections to look out for:

  • continuous cough
  • high temperature, fever or chills
  • loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell
  • shortness of breath
  • unexplained tiredness, lack of energy
  • muscle aches or pains that are not due to exercise
  • not wanting to eat or not feeling hungry
  • headache that is unusual or longer lasting than usual
  • sore throat, stuffy or runny nose
  • diarrhoea, feeling sick or being sick

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It advises if you are feeling well with these symptoms to get plenty of rest and drink water to keep hydrated.

It adds: “You can use medications such as paracetamol to help with your symptoms. Antibiotics are not recommended for viral respiratory infections because they will not relieve your symptoms or speed up your recovery.”

The infection found in the UK is slightly different from recent human cases of swine flu globally, according to the health officials, but is similar to viruses in UK pigs.

Increased surveillance through GP surgeries and hospitals in parts of North Yorkshire where the case was detected is now planned.

Kanani said: “The source of the infection has not yet been ascertained and remains under investigation therefore it is difficult to say how to avoid getting it.”

If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection you should stay at home and avoid contact with other people, advised the UKHSA.

You should do this until you no longer have a high temperature (if you had one) or until you no longer feel unwell.

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