John Bingham and Auslan Cramb
May 4, 20099

Alan Johnson said that the lesson of past pandemics was that initially mild outbreaks had been followed by something “much more serious”.

His comments came as the number of confirmed cases of swine flu in Britain rose to 18, including two children, with as many as 716 possible patients now being tested.

[efoods]Meanwhile the Health Protection Agency confirmed that a Mexican pilot was one of the 18 cases in Britain. He has since left the country.

An independent school in London has been closed after a 14-year-old girl contracted the virus from a traveller who had recently returned from Mexico, in the third known case of person-to-person transmission inside the UK.

Jenny Stephen, headmistress of South Hampstead High School, wrote to parents to announce that it would be closed until at least Thursday, cancelling the leavers’ ball, after a Year Nine pupil became infected.

An 11-year-old girl from Wandsworth, south London, also tested positive after a trip to America although her school did not need to close as she did not attend classes while showing symptoms.

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