Swine flu case will be out of hospital in days

The UAE's first confirmed swine flu patient says he is "doing very well" and should be out of isolation in two or three days.

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The UAE's first confirmed swine flu patient said yesterday that he was "doing very well" and should be out of isolation in two or three days. The man, an associate professor at the UAE University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, said the authorities had acted quickly when he went to Tawam Hospital, in Al Ain, the day after he returned from Canada on May 17 with a sore throat, cough and fever.

"The first day I came back here I just used my e-mail so I was not in contact with anyone," he said from his isolation room at the hospital. "I noticed I had the symptoms so I came straight to the hospital." Initial tests for influenza A were positive and his swabs were then sent to a laboratory in London for confirmation. The patient said he was told about three days ago that he had the H1N1 virus.

"I got the antiviral drug, Tamiflu. I had the symptoms for two days and then they went. "I am in here so that I should not come into contact with anyone else. "The authorities have been very efficient and have handled things very well I think." Health officials said authorities had followed all the correct international protocols to prevent any spread of the virus. A source familiar with the case said everyone who had come into contact with the patient had been made aware of the situation and none had tested positive for the virus.

"Your typical exposure did not happen," the source said. An official from the UAE University confirmed that the associate professor, who works in the Department of Community Medicine, had not been in contact with students since returning to the UAE. "I have not been in contact with anyone and am now in total and complete isolation," the patient said. "I am feeling very well but this is a precaution.

"I will be out in maybe two or three days." @Email:munderwood@thenational.ae * Additional reporting by Essam Ghalib and Tala al Ramahi