SWINE FLU QUESTIONS
What are the symptoms of swine flu?
How many people have died from swine flu?
Typical symptoms include a sudden fever (high temperature A relatively smal number of people have died from swine
that is over 38C or 100.4F) and a sudden cough. Other
flu in the UK. This is a very smal number and many of these
symptoms may include: headache, tiredness, chil s, aching
people had underlying health problems.
muscles, limb or joint pain, diarrhoea or stomach upset, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and loss of appetite.
Does that mean the virus is getting more deadly?
If I have flu-like symptoms what should I do?
No, at present swine flu is no worse than ordinary flu.
If you have access to the internet, log on to: www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu
Are the young being particularly affected?
There is a symptom checker and a probable diagnosis will
Yes, the groups with the highest rate of flu-like il ness in
be given. There is also a National Pandemic Flu Service
early July were, in order, those aged 5-14 and 1-4. They
phone line: 0800 1 513 100 (running between 8am and
were fol owed by those aged 15-24 and 35-44.
midnight, Monday to Friday).
Once you have completed the online questionnaire or spoken to somebody on the phone line, you wil be given
Is the number of infections going to increase?
a unique number for a flu friend to use to col ect Tamiflu
Almost certainly. Everybody can help to stop the spread of
from a designated Antiviral Col ection Point.
infection by fol owing simple hygiene measures such as
There is also a swine flu information line on 0800 1 513
good hand hygiene, the ‘catch it, bin it, kil it’ principle and
513. This is a 24-hour recorded information line.
staying at home if you have symptoms.
Will there be a vaccine available and will everyone be If I get swine flu, how long will it last?
able to get it?
The incubation period is thought to be between two and
Scientists are developing a new vaccine for swine flu. We
five days. How long you suffer symptoms wil depend on
are expecting the first batches to arrive in the autumn. It
the severity of the infection and how your immune system
wil probably take into the spring to vaccinate everybody.
copes. A patient with swine flu could be feeling il for
Those at greatest risk wil probably be vaccinated first and
several days. We advise taking paracetamol-based cold
wil include: older people, those in clinical risk groups
(e.g. pregnant women, people with diabetes and people with lung/heart/kidney disease) as the virus can be more serious in these groups; under 16s, as protecting children
What does Tamilflu do?
can slow the spread of the virus; frontline health and social care workers (to ensure the NHS functions wel ).
It stops the virus from reproducing – that is why it is important to take it promptly after the onset of symptoms. It does not cure the il ness, but it does reduce its duration.
Should I call 999 or visit A&E if I become ill?
Tamiflu wil be issued from antiviral col ection points, to
No. People with flu-like symptoms should NOT visit A&E.
flu friends with two forms of identification and a unique
A&E Departments wil NOT be issuing Tamiflu.
Please turn over
How do I get Tamiflu and what is a flu friend?
Children - Can siblings go to school if they are
Patients diagnosed with having swine flu wil be asked to
nominate a flu friend. That person wil then col ect the
required medication from an Antiviral Col ection Point. A flu friend can be a member of the family, a neighbour or anyone that the patient can find to col ect the antiviral and
Should I avoid contact with people suspected of
having swine flu?
Medication wil only be released if the flu friend takes
The vast majority of people should go about their normal
identification for both themselves and the patient they are
activities, including going to school or work. This includes
children who attend a school with a confirmed case of swine flu.
There is no need to avoid contact with people who might
What forms of identification does the
simply have come into contact with those having the il ness,
flu friend need?
such as the parents of children at schools with a confirmed
Ful driving licence, paid utility bil (not older than 6 months), building society / national saving book, cheque
I look after someone who is very ill/disabled. What if I
guarantee / credit / debit card, cheque book, credit
become too ill to care for them?
card statement (not older than 6 months), council tax payment book, birth / marriage certificate, passport /
As a carer, you should probably begin planning for
European ID card, military ID, trade union card, a Standard
an emergency caring situation as soon as possible. The best
Acknowledgment Letter (SAL) issued by The Home Office
way to get help with planning for a caring emergency is to
for asylum seekers, child benefit letter, parent held record
arrange a carer’s assessment from your local authority.
(red book), NHS card, healthcare professional registration
If you have time you may be able to arrange for formal
number and ID card, pension / benefit book, store charge
respite care, but you may want to talk to friends,
neighbours and relatives about forming a network to help out if needed.
Do I need to take it? What happens if I don’t?
We are about to go on holiday, what should we do?
By taking the antiviral it wil reduce the likelihood of the severity of symptoms and its spread. If you do not take it,
Wherever you go on holiday, you should always take the
same sensible precautions that you do when at home. Know where you can get medical advice if you or your family feel unwel and make sure you have over-the-counter
How long do I need to be off work?
For approximately 24-48 hours after the symptoms
If you have swine flu, do not travel until after your
NATIONAL PANDEMIC FLU SERVICE
SWINE FLU INFORMATION LINE
0800 1 513 100
0800 1 513 513
This information is available in different languages and formats.
For more information please contact (01623) 673131
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