UK’s health agency said they have detected the first human case of a swine flu strain similar to one that has been circulating in pigs.
The individual, whose identity has not been revealed, experienced respiratory symptoms following which the test reports confirmed that he was afflicted with the variant of the H1N2 virus, called A(H1N2)v.
"This is the first time we have detected this virus in humans in the UK, though it is very similar to viruses that have been detected in pigs," said the agency's incident director Meera Chand.
"We are working rapidly to trace close contacts and reduce any potential spread."
However, since then the person has been fully recovered, the agency said in a statement.
50 cases registered worldwide since 2005
Although 50 cases have been registered worldwide since 2005, this is the first time it has been detected in the United Kingdom.
It has not previously been detected in humans in the country, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said.
According to local media reports, the person was diagnosed with H1N2 influenza during a routine national flu surveillance while visiting North Yorkshire with breathing problems.
Source of infection currently unknown
The person is reportedly not known to have worked with pigs. The authorities are still trying to figure out the source of the infection.
"We are working rapidly to trace close contacts and reduce any potential spread," Meera Chand, UKHSA director, said.
"In accordance with established protocols, investigations are underway to learn how the individual acquired the infection and to assess whether there are any further associated cases."
There are three major subtypes of swine flu—H1N1, H1N2 and H3N2—found in pigs and occasionally infect humans. In 2009, there was a pandemic in humans caused by H1N1, commonly referred to as swine flu. This now circulates in humans seasonally.
Meanwhile, pig-keepers have been alerted and asked to report any suspicion of swine flu in their herds to their local vet immediately.
(With inputs from agencies)