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Number of confirmed UK swine flu cases tops 500

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There are now more than 500 cases of swine flu in the UK, according to official figures.

A further 22 new cases have been confirmed in Scotland today, which combined with the 486 existing cases already confirmed brings the total 508.

There are 10 people being treated in hospital in Scotland with swine flu, including a 14-month old baby - however the baby’s condition is described as no cause for concern.

Two of the cases in Scotland are healthcare workers and three people are critically ill.

None of the new cases in Scotland are travel-related, suggesting the disease is now spreading through the community.

Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: ’A number of schools have now closed. These will have been subject to robust risk assessments and the situation is being kept under review.

‘It is concerning that young children are being affected by the virus but I would stress that in the vast majority of cases their symptoms are mild.

‘I would like to reassure parents there is no need to worry unnecessarily, however everyone should continue to follow the advice of health professionals and maintain good hygiene standards.’

Latest World Health Organization figures suggest that there are around 22,000 swine flu cases worldwide and the organisation is considering officially declaring a global pandemic.

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