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Sheffield base for swine flu tests


A Sheffield research centre will be at the forefront of a new Government initiative to get to grips with the swine flu pandemic.
Fourteen scientific projects, at a total cost of £2.25 million, will be fast-tracked to help further understanding of the disease and its vicious spread.
Centres in Leicester, Nottingham, London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Newcastle will join the Yorkshire-based research centre and the results of the studies are expected by the end of 2009.
The projects will explore whether health workers should wear face masks, how the disease should be managed in pregnant women and whether or not the closing of schools will be necessary.
A study led by Professor Steve Goodacre, from the University of Sheffield, will examine data that can be recorded in A&E to determine if someone needs to be admitted to hospital with swine flu.
Another research project will explore how long somebody is contagious for and advise on a "safe distance" for avoidance.
Canadian research showed that people may reject the swine flu vaccine after questions were raised about its safety. In a small survey of 216 UK GPs, it was revealed that 29% would not take the vaccine this winter.
Copyright © Press Association 2009 (National Pandemic Flu Service)