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Infectious diseases

Swine Flu

Swine Flu is a strain of flu virus which is different from the usual seasonal flu that is around each winter. Most people have no immunity to it and it can spread very quickly from person to person.

Swine flu is no longer classified as a pandemic but the H1N1 swine flu virus continues to circulate as part of seasonal flu.

Spread

Flu viruses are made up of tiny particles that can be spread through droplets that come out of your nose or mouth when you cough or sneeze. The viruses can be transferred onto your hands and then onto other hard surfaces that you touch. Other people can then pick up the virus by touching these surfaces.

Prevention of Spread

You can, however help prevent swine flu from spreading by following good hand hygiene practices – Catch it, Bin it, Kill it

  • Catch your sneeze or cough in a tissue.
  • Bin the tissue after one use
  • Kill the virus by washing your hands with soap and water or a sanitizer gel

Symptoms

The swine flu symptoms include fever, cough or shortness of breath, headache, sore throat, tiredness, aching muscles, chills, sneezing, runny nose and loss of appetite.

If you think you may have swine flu, stay at home and check your symptoms on the NHS website - swine flu section (external link). If you are still concerned, phone your GP or NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 and they will give you advice on dealing with your symptoms.

What if I think I have swine flu

Do not go into your GP surgery or local accident and emergency department unless you are advised to do so or are seriously ill, because you may spread the illness to others.

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