Swine Flu

Health Information and Advice


Prevention

Maintain high standards of cleanliness.  Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or a hand gel.  In particular, clean door handles and other hard surfaces on a regular basis with normal cleaning products.  Remember: Catch it, Bin it, Kill it.

Preparation

Ensure that you have good stocks of food and fluids at home so that you won’t have to go shopping if ill.  Make sure you order any repeat prescriptions for everyone in your household to ensure that you won’t run out.  Keep a supply of tissues and toilet paper at home, along with cleaning products that will help to maintain cleanliness.  Check that you have normal flu remedies suitable for each member of the household e.g. correct doses of paracetamol for children, as well as adults.

Now is the time to identify a network of ‘flu friends’.  These can be relatives, neighbours or friends, who will collect medicines, food and other supplies for people who get swine flu, so that they don’t have to leave home.

It is recommended that each person identifies up to five flu friends.  There is no way of telling who will catch swine flu and it is important to be aware and plan ahead.

The steps to take are:

  1. Identify your flu friends and check that they are happy to help you.
  2. Make sure you have your ID to hand, in case your flu friend needs to collect medicines for you (both the patient and the flu friend will need to provide ID such as a passport or driving licence when they collect medication).
  3. Think about neighbours who may live alone or family members that might need help, and perhaps offer to be their flu friend.
What to do if you get swine flu

If you think you have any of the symptoms of flu, stay at home and phone the flu information line on 0800 1 513 513 or check the NHS website and use the symptom checker.

Do NOT visit your GP surgery, walk-in centre or A&E or any hospital - unless there is a serious emergency or advised to do so by a health professional.

Call the National Pandemic Flu Line for assessment on 0800 1 513 100, or use the online service (under useful links). Anti viral medication will be made available where required.

You should call your GP directly if:

  • you have a serious underlying illness
  • you are pregnant
  • you have a sick child under one year old
  • your condition suddenly gets much worse
  • your condition is still getting worse after 7 days (or 5 days for a child)

Going on Holiday?

If you are planning to travel abroad and are concerned about Swine Flu the Association of British Travel Agents can provide further advice and information, or alternatively contact your Travel Agent.

Pig Farmer or owner of a small holding with pigs?

Pig herds in the UK are monitored for any animal disease not normally present in the EU and to identify any change in the prevalence of diseases that do occur.  For further information on the impact for UK Pigs from Swine Flu contact the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs, call the DeFRA help line 08459 335577 or e-mail helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk.

Please also see our Flu Advice page for links to other useful websites. Please also see our Avian Influenza Information page.

Last updated on: 07/09/2015 - 14:05