One additional patient has tested positive for swine flu resistant to Tamiflu at a Cardiff hospital unit.

The patient - who was linked with the previous group of five people found to be resistant to Tamiflu last week - was tested as part of the routine screening arrangements introduced at the University Hospital of Wales.

Test results are still awaited on one other direct contact of the six patients with swine flu resistant to Tamiflu. All other patients on the unit have now tested negative for the virus.

Three of the patients remain in hospital, with one in critical care and the others being treated in isolation on the unit.

Dr Roland Salmon, Director of the NPHS Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, said: "It was not unexpected that more patients exposed to the original cases would test positive for this strain of swine flu as we now know that it has passed from person to person within the unit.

"The emergence of influenza A viruses that are resistant to Tamiflu is not unexpected in patients with serious underlying conditions and suppressed immune systems, who still test positive for the virus despite treatment.

"In this case, the resistant strain of swine flu does not appear to be any more severe than the swine flu virus that has been circulating since April.

"For the vast majority of people, Tamiflu has proved effective in reducing the severity of illness. Vaccination remains the most effective tool we have in preventing swine flu so I urge people identified as being at risk to look out for their invitation to be vaccinated by their GP surgery."

Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Tony Jewell, said: "We know that people with suppressed immune systems are more susceptible to the swine flu virus, which is why they are a priority group under the first phase of the vaccination programme in Wales which is progressing well.

"Treatment with Tamiflu is still appropriate for swine flu and people should continue to take Tamiflu when they are prescribed it.

"It's also important we continue with good hygiene practices to further prevent the spread of the virus."

All patients diagnosed with Tamiflu-resistant swine flu have been treated with an alternative antiviral.

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has ensured that all appropriate infection control measures are in place on the unit. Household contacts have also been advised about vaccination and other measures.

Patients and staff at the unit have been offered swine flu vaccination. Patients due to come into the unit for treatment are being advised to have the vaccination from their GP in advance of coming to the hospital.

Household contacts of the patients with swine flu are being followed up to ensure early and appropriate treatment is offered should symptoms of influenza develop and to offer vaccination.

The Welsh Assembly Government

View drug information on Tamiflu capsule.

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