A man admitted to intensive care in a Glasgow hospital with a probable case of swine flu is in a critical condition, according to Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon.
The 37-year-old from Glasgow was admitted to the intensive care unit of the city’s Victoria Royal Infirmary on Thursday.
Ms Sturgeon said there was no evidence the man had been in contact with a suspected swine flu patient and had not recently travelled abroad.
The patient had pre-existing health problems and a chest infection and was tested for a range of viruses as a matter of course.
However, he has tested positive for influenza A and doctors are awaiting results of tests from the Health Protection Agency’s Colindale laboratory for confirmation that it is the H1N1 swine flu strain.
‘The results have confirmed that he is positive for influenza A and H1N1 is highly probable,’ said Ms Sturgeon.
Ms Sturgeon added: ‘The patient had a severe bacterial infection of the respiratory tract and significant underlying health problems.
‘The patient is critically ill and obviously giving cause for serious clinical concern at this time. Public health staff in Greater Glasgow and Clyde are not able to say if the flu is the underlying cause of his deterioration, or whether it is simply incidental to his other problems.’
‘I am not able to give further details of his underlying conditions due to patient confidentiality, other than to say he is in a critical condition.’
A statement from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde confirmed the man is being treated in isolation and has been identified as a ‘probable’ case of swine flu.
Linda De Caestecker, director of public health for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: ‘This patient was already being treated in hospital for a serious underlying medical condition.
‘All staff who are considered close contacts of this patient have been identified and will be offered Tamiflu as a precaution.
‘Public health specialists are also investigating and contacting other close contacts and all other appropriate infection control and public health protection measures are in place.’