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Important information for patients about swine flu

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There are more than 25 confirmed cases of swine flu in the UK, and many more are under investigation.Read the latest official advice and find out about the simple steps you can take to help protect yourself and your patients.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised the level of the swine flu alert to Phase Five. This is a ‘strong signal that a pandemic is imminent,’ it says.

Key messages

If you have flu-like symptoms and have recently returned from Mexico or another affected area, or been with someone who has: 

  • Stay at home and contact a GP or NHS Direct on 0845 4647
  • Do NOT go into your GP surgery, or to a hospital, as you may spread the disease
  • If you are unsure about your symptoms, use this special flu symptom checker   

Key reading 

Key actions 

Remember, preventing the spread of germs is the single most effective way to slow the spread of diseases such as swine flu. You should always:

  • Ensure everyone washes their hands regularly with soap and water
  • Clean surfaces regularly to get rid of germs
  • Use tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Place used tissues in a bin as soon as possible

You can also prepare now in case the swine flu becomes widespread by:

  • Establishing a network of “flu friends” - friends and relatives - who can help if you fall ill. They could, for example, collect medicines and other supplies for you, so you wouldn’t have to go out
  • Having a stock of food and other supplies, including basic cold remedies, available at home. This should be enough to last two weeks, in case you and your family are ill  
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