THERE are no suspected swine flu cases in North Wales’ main hospitals as tests continue on 19 patients across Wales, a spokesman said last night.

Rumours were rife across the region yesterday of suspected cases in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Bodelwyddan, and Wrexham Maelor hospital, but North Wales NHS Trust spokesman Andy Scotson said he was not aware of any cases at all or indeed any which had required hospitalisation.

He said anyone who thought they might have swine flu was being advised to ring NHS Direct or their GPs. They should not go directly to hospital casualty departments.

He said: “We are not aware of any at all that require hospitalisation.

“We are not the people who would know. They are the National Public Health Service for Wales.”

What is known at the moment is that 19 patients are still being tested for swine flu in Wales.

The virus has now been ruled out in eight of 27 suspected cases which were under investigation.

All of those being examined are related to travel in Mexico and the USA and are displaying “mild symptoms”.

Cardiff-based National Public Health Service for Wales (NPHS) is monitoring the situation in Wales.

NPHS spokesman Chris Lines was asked about the location of the 19 suspected cases. He said: “We are not breaking down the cases we are investigating by geographical area because numbers are still fairly small.”

The NPHS has “rules” on releasing information about small numbers, said Mr Lines, who added that the advice about swine flu is the same as throughout the year.

Health officials said yesterday they have no plan to issue the facemasks seen in news footage from abroad.

And they reiterated the appeal to people with flu symptoms to stay at home and call NHS Direct or their GP and not to go to hospital casualty departments adding to pressures on staff.

Chief Medical Officer for Wales Tony Jewell said: “The Welsh Assembly Government is liaising with the National Public Health Service, Health Protection Agency, the other UK countries and international colleagues to monitor the situation closely.

“We fully expect that there will be cases reported in Wales, but reiterate that we have no confirmed cases as of yet.

“Last week, a successful Wales-wide exercise was held to rehearse for an outbreak of this nature, and we are well placed to deal with its effects.”

Dr Roland Salmon, Director of the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, National Public Health Service for Wales, said: “It is inevitable that we will see some cases of swine flu in Wales, but it is also extremely likely that some people undergoing investigation will test negative as their symptoms could have several other causes.

A public information leaflet will be dropped through people’s doors from next Tuesday.

Bilingual posters and leaflets are being made available Šfor use in Wales.

The National Public Health Service for Wales has provided advice to port health authorities on arrangements for returning travellers.