AN NHS worker is expected to find out today if he is Britain’s first case of human-to-human transfer of swine flu.
Graeme Pacitti, 24, is said to have fallen ill after being in contact with Iain Askham who along with his wife Dawn were confirmed as Britain’s first victims of the virus when they returned from honeymoon in Mexico.
Clerical worker Mr Pacitti, from Falkirk, was initially cleared but continued to show symptoms and further tests confirmed he was suffering from Type A flu.
More tests are expected to confirm if he is suffering from swine flu.
He has received anti-viral drugs and has been treated at home.
His mother Lesley Pacitti told the Daily Mail: "He’s been pretty much the same for the last few days. We are very unsure about what’s happening, but we hope he will be better soon."
Mr Pacitti, who works at Falkirk Royal Infirmary, is now in quarantine at his home in the town along with his mother and other members of his family.
He plays football on the same six-a-side team as Mr Askham and fell ill after they went for a team night out at a local pub.
He told the Daily Mail: "It’s just typical flu. I have a sore throat, a sore head and an upset stomach. I have been told to stay at home and my mother, her partner and my brother are also in the house."
Dr Harry Burns, Scotland’s chief medical officer, said: "My understanding is he is through the worst of it. He has had Tamiflu as a contact."
Mr Pacitti’s own contacts are now being followed up.
Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: "Obviously the circumstances around this individual do give us cause for concern - the symptoms don’t give us cause for concern, but the circumstances give us cause for concern."
But Dr Alan McNally, senior lecturer and influenza diagnostics researcher at Nottingham Trent University, said human-to-human transmission within the UK would not be a significant development.
He said: "I don’t think it is any more significant. We know that it is transmitted from human to human, it has happened in other parts of the world and we know it will happen here."
But he added: "I know that there will be interest in it because members of the public will see that they don’t need to have been to Mexico to get it."
He said the vast majority of the UK’s 230 possible cases currently being investigated are likely to have originated from contact with other infected people.
Mr and Mrs Askham, from Polmont near Falkirk, were released from hospital yesterday after being given the all-clear.
The total number of people in the UK suffering the disease rose to eight yesterday, after the Department of Health confirmed that three more people had been diagnosed - two in London and one in the North East.
Six of the eight confirmed cases are in England, and two in Scotland.
One of the three new cases was a woman who recently returned from Cancun, Mexico, and lives with two students from Newcastle University.
Two students who live off-campus and share a house with the infected woman, whose symptoms are mild, have been given anti-viral drugs.
Staff at Procter & Gamble on the Cobalt Business Park in North Tyneside where the woman works are also being monitored although she was only in the office a short time after returning from holiday.
Last night Irish health chiefs said a man who returned from Mexico was their first probable case of swine flu. He has been treated with anti-viral medication while medics await official confirmation from test results.
Also yesterday the World Health Organisation raised the alert level to phase five of six, meaning a global outbreak is imminent.
Holland and Switzerland both confirmed their first cases of swine flu today, bringing the total number of countries affected around the world to 11.
There have been 248 deaths in Mexico, with 12 confirmed as due to the virus.
The other countries affected are the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, Spain, Israel and Austria.