Northern Ireland

Two swine flu cases are confirmed

Flu vaccine
Image caption Parents of children at special schools are being encouraged to get them vaccinated

Two cases of swine flu have been confirmed in Northern Ireland, the Public Health Agency (PHA) has said.

One case is a pupil at Ceara School in Lurgan - a special school for children with severe learning disability.

The other case, which is not linked, is a man from Northern Ireland.

Dr Brian Smyth, from the PHA, said there were likely to be more "sporadic" cases of swine flu over the next few weeks as the flu season kicks in.

However, he said he didn't expect the virus to circulate to the same extent as last year as many people would now have immunity to it.

He advised anyone with underlying health problems to go to their GPs for vaccination.

The last cases of swine flu to be reported in Northern Ireland were earlier this year.

Twenty people from Northern Ireland died in last year's swine flu outbreak, including children with severe learning difficulties.

Vaccination

Letters have been sent to parents of other children at Ceara school encouraging them to get their children vaccinated.

Local GPs have also been informed and no other associated cases have been identified,the PHA added.

Last year there was a programme of swine flu (H1N1) vaccination for pupils attending special schools.

The PHA is recommending that all special school pupils have the flu vaccine this year, even if they had the swine flu one last year.

This year's vaccine will also protect against two other strains of flu, which could have serious complications in these children.

It will also boost their immunity to swine flu. Parents should contact their local GP for information about local arrangements.

Symptoms of swine flu in humans appear to be similar to those produced by standard, seasonal flu - fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and chills.

Some people with the virus have also reported nausea and diarrhoea.

Symptoms of swine flu in humans appear to be similar to those produced by standard, seasonal flu - fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and chills.

Some people with the virus have also reported nausea and diarrhoea.

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