A new Swine Flu advice and resource service has been launched today in England by the National Pandemic Flu Service.
If you are in England and feel like you may have swine flu, visit the new website by following the link below.
People who have swine flu symptoms will be given a unique access number and told where their nearest antiviral collection point is. They should then ask a flu friend – a friend or relative who doesn’t have swine flu – to go and pick up their antivirals. The flu friend must show their own ID as well as that of the patient.
The new website and call centres will be able to tell you if you have swine flu. If you do, you will be given an authorisation number that a ‘flu friend’ – a friend or relative who does not have swine flu – can use to pick up antivirals from a local collection point.
England – the service should be up and running by the end of the week. Until then, if you think you have swine flu, check your symptoms on the NHS Choices website, or call the swine flu information line on 0800 1 513 513. If you still think you have swine flu, call your GP.
Scotland – if you are worried about flu-like symptoms, continue to contact your GP or NHS 24 on 08454 24 24 24
Wales – if symptoms are causing concern, or you are in an at risk group such as those with heart and lung disease, children under five or pregnant women, phone NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or phone your GP
It is particularly important for people with chronic lung, kidney or heart disease, under fives, over 65s and pregnant women to use the new service as soon as they have symptoms and to keep in touch with their GP. Parents with children under one year should call their GP as soon as possible if their child has symptoms.
Swine Flu case numbers
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) estimates that there were 55,000 new cases of swine flu last week. The under-5s and 5-14 year olds are the age groups most affected.
The majority of cases continue to be mild but there have been 26 deaths in England and three in Scotland. The HPA points out that the figure is the number of deaths among people with swine flu; not the number of deaths necessarily caused by it.
Does this mean you should be worried about coming to the UK?
To be this into perspective, the numbers of people diagnosed with Swine Flu represents less than one in a thousand of the general population of just over 60 million.
As long as you follow the Government’s advice there is no reason why you will be at any more risk here in the UK as in other parts of the world.
If you already have Flu symptoms, you may be prevented from traveling or entering the UK, so best consult your doctor.