Swine flu fear for hundreds of NY children - Health News - Health & Families - The Independent

Swine flu fear for hundreds of NY children

'Many hundreds' of New York children are sick with suspected swine flu, it was reported tonight.

The news was revealed by city's Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden. The city's mayor Michael Bloomberg said the children were separate from those in a suspected outbreak at a private school in Queens.



Mr Bloomberg said that two people were being treated in hospital with suspected swine flu - a child in the Bronx and an adult in Brooklyn.



The US has more than 60 reported cases of swine flu, mostly in New York City.



Meanwhile, leading health officials said today that four in 10 Britons could catch the deadly swine flu virus within the next six months.



Professor Neil Ferguson, a member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) taskforce which raised the alert over the outbreak to level four, said 40 per cent of people in the UK could be infected if the country was hit by a pandemic.



But Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Britain was "among the best prepared countries in the world" and added that the Government was taking "all the urgent action that is necessary" to help prevent the spread of the virus.



The Government's Cobra emergencies committee, involving both Mr Brown and Health Secretary Alan Johnson, met to discuss the issue as Britons were warned to avoid all but essential travel to Mexico.



The WHO said the deadly swine flu virus could no longer be contained and raised its alert to just two steps lower than the maximum of six, signifying a "significant increase in risk of a pandemic".



Prof Ferguson, of Imperial College, London, said: "We might expect up to 30 per cent - 40 per cent of the population to become ill in the next six months if this truly turns into a pandemic."



The first two British cases were confirmed yesterday and more suspected infections emerged across the UK throughout today.



The two confirmed patients, Iain and Dawn Askham, of Polmont, near Falkirk, had been on honeymoon in Mexico and were being treated today in isolation at Monklands Hospital in Airdrie, Lanarkshire.



Their parents said the newlywed couple were "shocked" at the positive test results.



In a statement issued on behalf of their parents, Ian and Pauline Askham and Linda and Brian Colston, by NHS Lanarkshire, the families said: "We are delighted that they continue to make good progress and they remain in good spirits.



"They were both quite shocked that the result was positive for swine flu but are relieved that their symptoms have been very mild."



They added that it was an "incredibly difficult" time for them and they were "overwhelmed" by the attention.



Later, Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said the couple's condition was continuing to improve.



"Their condition never gave cause for concern, nevertheless they do continue to recuperate and recover," she said.



Ms Sturgeon added that nine of 22 people in contact with them since returning home were showing "mild, cold-like" symptoms and were also being tested for swine flu.



As dozens of people around the UK were tested, health officials warned there would be no "minute by minute" update and that many of the suspected cases were likely to be negative.



Thomas Cook cancelled all Thomas Cook and Airtours holidays to Cancun for the next seven days and Thomson Holidays' parent company Tui said it would not be operating any more flights to Mexico until the Foreign Office travel advice changed.



Arrangements were being made to get clients home from Mexico, Thomson said.



Shares in holiday companies also saw a second day of losses as fears over the spread of the swine flu virus kept world markets under pressure.



Holiday operator TUI Travel fell more than 6 per cent, Thomas Cook slipped 5 per cent and cruise operator Carnival, which sails to mainly Caribbean destinations, also slumped nearly 6 per cent in the FTSE 100 Index.



British Airways fell 4 per cent despite the airline's announcement that it would not be cancelling any of its four weekly flights to Mexico.



And the European Commission warned that swine flu outbreaks were likely to get worse in Europe over the next few days, but advised the public not to panic.



Health Commissioner Androulla Vasiliou said there were still only three confirmed cases in the EU - one in Spain and two in the UK - but suspected cases in Ireland, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Greece and the Czech Republic.



So far 152 people are thought to have been killed in Mexico by the virus, which is caused when the H1N1 strain associated with pigs crosses over to the human population.



Outbreaks have also been confirmed in Scotland, the United States, Canada, Spain, New Zealand and Israel.



WHO's assistant director-general, Keiji Fukuda, said the level four alert was "a significant step towards pandemic influenza".



Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, the Government's chief medical adviser, said there were enough anti-virals to treat "half the population" if they became ill.



"We have been preparing for the possibility for a number of years and are among the most prepared countries in the world," he said.



Dr Maureen Baker, the honorary secretary of the Royal College of GPs, said family doctors should reassure patients that they could expect to recover from flu within a week - even if it was swine flu.



In the US, the number of cases rose to 50, including 28 at a single New York City school. Other US cases have been reported in Ohio, Kansas, Texas and California. A total of 11 cases were confirmed in New Zealand, six in Canada, two in Spain and one in Israel. None of the cases outside Mexico have been fatal.



Mexican health secretary Jose Angel Cordova said the epidemic was entering an extremely dangerous phase, with the number of people infected mushrooming even as authorities were improving defences.

Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Life and Style
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
tech(but you can't escape: Bono is always on your iPhone)
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
News
i100
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Project Manager with some Agile experience

    £45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsf...

    Data/ MI Analyst

    £25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are cur...

    Secondary Supply Teachers to work in Peterborough

    £110 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cambridge: Supply teachers required fo...

    Project Manager (retail, upgrades, rollouts)

    £40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week