15 more British swine flu cases

Another 15 cases of swine flu have been confirmed today, bringing the UK total to 244, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) said.

The new cases were in England with one also in Wales which is believed to be the first for the country.

Two children and one adult in the West Midlands were amongst the new cases, they are linked to previously confirmed outbreaks.

The North West has two cases and these are also linked to previously confirmed cases.

There are eight cases confirmed in the South East, six are travel related and two are linked to an ongoing investigation of a school outbreak.

There is one case in London linked to an ongoing investigation of a school outbreak and one case in Wales which is travel related.

A number of schools, including Eton, have been forced to close because of the disease in recent weeks.

UK scientists have now produced a strain of the swine flu virus that is more suitable for making a vaccine.

The move was a "crucial step" towards the large-scale production of a vaccine against the disease, the HPA said.

The virus strain was developed at the HPA's National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), based near Potters Bar in Hertfordshire.

It is now being made available to drug manufacturers and other flu laboratories worldwide.



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