UK contracted 55,000 cases of swine flu last week

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The UK Health Protection Agency said that 55,000 people caught swine flu here last week, and there's been a total of 29 deaths from the viral infection so far.

But the Agency urged people not to panic, saying that the vast majority of cases were mild, and people made a good recovery after contracting the disease.

However, Britain is in the grip of a pandemic - it is the most seriously affected country in Europe right now.

The UK government is to introduce the National Flu Service at the end of the week, allowing people to get anti-flu drugs by either phoning in or using the Internet.

The Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson said the service was intended to reduce pressure on doctors and hospitals. There are no signs so far that the virus is mutating.

The Health Protection Agency is here .  The likelihood is that many other people have caught influenza and the cases are going unreported.