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Swine 'flu update number 3

Dr Jonathan Kwan, Medical Director
Dr Jonathan Kwan, Medical Director

A message from the Trust's Medical Director, Dr Jonathan Kwan

25 June 2009

There have now been more than 2,700 confirmed cases of swine 'flu in the UK, with one death in Scotland.

As you may know, the World Health Organization has declared 'Phase 6' of its pandemic alert system, which means that swine 'flu is now spreading in communities in several countries.

It is important to note that this decision reflects the geographic spread of the virus and not its severity. In the vast majority of cases, the illness is mild.

The move to 'Phase 6' does not trigger any material change to the way organisations respond in the UK.

Although there have several cases locally, it remains business as usual for the Trust, and I want to once again reassure you that we have robust plans in place to respond to the developing situation. These plans have been developed in close association with our local and national NHS partners.

Leaflet from the Department of Health outlining important information about the disease.
Leaflet from the Department of Health outlining important information about the disease.

Below is some important advice for our patients and local people:

  1. Swine 'flu is a mild, self-limiting illness in the majority of cases. General hygiene can help to reduce transmission of all viruses, including the swine 'flu virus. This includes:

    • 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 your face or to other people; 

    • cleaning hard surfaces (such as door handles) frequently using a normal cleaning product.

  2. If you have flu-like symptoms, stay at home and contact either your GP or NHS Direct on 0845 4647;

  3. Do not to 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.

For more information about swine 'flu, you can also visit the NHS Direct website or call the 'flu information line on 0800 1 513 513.

For more information, please contact:

Communications team

Tel: 020 8296 4996
communication@esth.nhs.uk

Out of hours media enquiries
Please call 07975 232 380

Additional information

The National Pandemic Flu Service will assess the patient’s symptoms and, if required, provide an authorisation number, which can be used to collect antivirals from a local Antiviral Collection Point.

Latest information on Swine 'flu from NHS DirectDirectGov and the Health Protection Agency

Leaflet from the Department of Health

What is Swine 'flu?

Questions and answers

NHS Direct: 0845 4647

Swine 'flu leaflet for renal patients

Read more about infection control

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