The situation with swine flu has now changed. As swine flu spreads and there is transmission within the community, it makes sense to move from intensive efforts to contain the virus to focusing efforts on treating the increasing number of people who have the disease.
Swine flu itself remains, in most cases, a relatively mild illness, similar to seasonal flu.
If you develop flu-like symptoms stay at home and visit the NHS Direct website and use the online symptom checker, or call the national flu information line on 0800 1 513 513.
Typical symptoms are:
· sudden fever and
· sudden cough
Other symptoms may include:
· aching muscles
· limb or joint pain
· diarrhoea or stomach upset
· sore throat
· runny nose
· sneezing, and
· loss of appetite
If you are unsure about your symptoms and need advice, contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647
If you now believe that you have swine flu you should stay at home, then:
· Telephone your GP who can provide a diagnosis over the phone
If swine flu is confirmed, your GP will provide you with an authorisation voucher which your 'flu friend'* can take to a local collection centre to pick up the antiviral treatment. Your GP will tell you where the nearest centre is located. You should not collect the treatment yourself.
* Be prepared - before you become ill, make sure you have identified a ‘flu friend' who can collect your antiviral drugs for you if you need them. A 'flu friend' can be a member of your family, a friend, a neighbour or a colleague. If you know older or vulnerable people, or neighbours who live alone, check to see whether they have a 'flu friend', and think about offering to become theirs.
You should also do the following to protect the people you live with:
·Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing and use a tissue where possible
·Dispose of used tissues in waste/rubbish bins as soon as possible
·Wash hands frequently with warm soapy water to reduce the spread of the virus from your hands to your face, or to other people
·Always wash your hands before eating
·Clean hard surface, such as door handles, telephones and desks regularly using a normal cleaing product.
Stay at home
Go online and check your symptoms on the NHS Direct website, or
Call the swine flu information line on 0800 1 513 513 If you have symptoms
Call your GP on the phone
DO NOT: Visit your GP surgery or A&E in person