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Hospital worker "may have bird flu"

Staff and patients at a hospital are being treated with anti-avian flu drugs after it emerged a health worker may have been infected with the virus.

Almost 80 people at Glan Clwyd hospital in North Wales have received the Tamiflu drug as a precaution.

The move comes after it was confirmed a worker at the hospital is being treated for the H7 flu virus.

Health officials are contacting a further 69 people at Gwynedd hospital after a former patient suffered symptoms.

Schoolchildren and staff at Ysgol Henllan primary school have already been offered courses of the anti-flu drug after a pupil fell ill following the outbreak at a farm in Corwen, North Wales.

A total of 12 people are so far thought to have contracted the avian flu virus since it was discovered at the farm.

Preliminary tests have confirmed that two people are suffering from the H7 virus. Further tests are being carried out on the remaining 10 to establish whether they also have the illness.

The disease is the "very mild" H7N2 strain, rather than the more virulent H5N1 variety.

Dr Marion Lyons, lead consultant in communicable disease control for the National Public Health Service for Wales, said: "We have assessed the risk to others and can confirm that the healthcare worker was working at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd during the time when she may possibly have been infectious, between May 21 and May 23.

"Consequently, the patients and staff with whom the healthcare worker has had contact are being offered Tamiflu as a precaution."

National Public Health Service for Wales

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