“Northern Ireland has robust plans in place for dealing with situations such as this..”

The World Health Organisation has upgraded the pandemic alert level from 3 to 4 [of 6] over the human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) [WHO FAQs (pdf file)] that has hit Mexico hardest – apparently it’s some kind of human/avian/swine flu hybrid. There have been 2 confirmed cases in Scotland and 5 cases of suspected infection reported in Ireland, one of which has already tested negative. The only deaths, so far, have been recorded in Mexico, to date 149, and it’s still not clear whether there was an additional factor involved there given that the cases in the US and Canada have exhibited only mild flu symptoms – a point mentioned in this Washington Post report which suggests that additional factor is early treatment. The Northern Ireland Health Minister might have to make another statement soon..