The news reported by many sources in Iceland over the weekend that H1N1 – better known as swine flu – had reached Iceland has turned out to be false.
Last Saturday it was reported that one suspected case of swine flu had been detected with four others possibly infected in the capital area and the south of Iceland. The suspected cases were all within the same family, one of whom had been abroad, came to Iceland, and then showed flu-like symptoms.
The reaction was swift, with the headlines “Swine flu arrives in Iceland” appearing on news websites, even as doctors of communicable diseases were emphasizing that they were still conducting tests and did not think a state of emergency was warranted. Even Dr. Haraldur Briem, who said it was “just a matter of time” before swine flu arrived in Iceland, stressed to reporters that there is more than enough anti-viral medication in Iceland to be able to treat the disease should it appear.
This morning, results of tests taken from the suspected contagion family revealed that none of them are infected with swine flu. The family will still be watched closely by health officials.
Swine flu is a contagious, air-borne virus that brings upon severe flu symptoms. Over 12,000 people in over 46 countries have been infected thus far, with 91 deaths reported. By contrast, thousands die of “regular” flu around the world each year, which is also more contagious than swine flu.