Italy is advising its citizens to take extra precautions when traveling because of a spike in swine flu cases reported in Britain.
The health ministry stopped short of discouraging travel to Britain in its advisory yesterday. But it says people traveling there should get checked by their doctor to see if they have any conditions that put them at risk for catching swine flu. And it says Italians should avoid crowded places and wash their hands regularly.
Britain's health agency estimated Thursday there were 55,000 new cases of swine flu last week and another 12 deaths, bringing the total number of British deaths to 29. Britain's chief medical officer said the number of deaths could ultimately hit 3,000-75,000.
Italy has 258 cases and no deaths.