Students quarantined with suspected swine flu

Seven language students were in quarantine at a Dublin university with suspected swine flu tonight as health chiefs confirmed 19 people have been taken to hospital.

The teenagers, who were attending English language classes at University College Dublin, are remaining in on-campus residences.

The Department of Health said the rate of the infection has tripled over the last number of weeks, with two people in intensive care.

A UCD spokesman said the students, aged between 14 and 17, could be quarantined for several days.

“It’s only just occurred, so I’d say for a few days.”

The majority of the students are believed to be Italian.

The university said around 60 language students presented in recent days complaining of flu-like symptoms, with around 47 given the all-clear.

Meanwhile chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said there were now 19 people in hospital with the illness.

Three had been admitted to intensive care, although one has been released.

Dr Holohan said the rate of influenza-like illness had jumped from 13 per 100,000 to 37 per 100,000 over the last number of weeks – a three-fold jump.

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