A message from the Trust's Medical Director, Dr Jonathan Kwan
8 May 2009
There have now been more than 30 confirmed cases of Swine 'flu in the UK, with many more under investigation.
To date, there have been no cases locally and whilst it remains business as usual for the Trust, I wanted to once again reassure our patients and other local people that we have robust plans in place to respond should the situation change. These plans have been developed in close association with our local and national NHS partners.
Below is some important advice for our patients and local people:
The current situation in the UK is that only those people with flu-like symptoms and who have visited Mexico or the USA within the last seven days or been in contact with a probable or confirmed case of swine flu are thought to be at risk of having the illness. Flu-like symptoms in individuals outside these risk groups is very unlikely to be Swine 'flu;
If you have flu-like symptoms and fall within one of the above risk groups, stay at home and contact either your GP or NHS Direct on 0845 4647;
Do not go to your GP or to A&E if you have flu-like symptoms, as you will only infect others. If you call for advice, a healthcare professional will be sent to see you if this is necessary;
It is important to stress that Swine 'flu viruses are not transmitted by food. There is no risk of catching the illness from eating properly handled and cooked pork or pork products.
Over the past week, the Government has launched a major publicity campaign to tell people what they should do to prepare themselves should the World Health Organisation declare a pandemic.
It is vital that everyone takes their responsibility seriously for protecting themselves and their families and there are simple steps we can all take to prevent the transmission of respiratory viruses based on good respiratory and hygiene practices.
These steps include:
Covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue when possible;
Disposing of dirty tissues promptly and carefully;
Maintaining good basic hygiene, for example washing hands frequently with soap and water to reduce the spread of the virus from your hands to face or to other people;
Cleaning hard surfaces (e.g. door handles) frequently using a normal cleaning product;
Making sure your children follow this advice.
For more information about Swine 'flu, visit the NHS Direct website or call the flu information line on 0800 1 513 513.
Additional information can be found at:
With kind regards,
Dr Jonathan Kwan
Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust