Got flu? Stay at home

03 July 2009

Patients are being asked to follow official NHS advice if they experience the symptoms of possible swine flu.

Patients are being asked to follow official NHS advice if they experience the symptoms of possible swine flu.

If you experience a sudden fever, cough or shortness of breath or have a headache, sore throat, tiredness, aching muscles, chills, sneezing, runny nose or loss of appetite you may have swine flu.

For most people this is a mild illness and you should start to feel better after a few days without needing to go to your GP or A&E.

Help yourself and others by not spreading the virus.

The best thing you can do is stay at home, rest, drink plenty of fluids and take over-the-counter flu remedies to help relieve the symptoms.

It is particularly important that you talk to your doctor if you think you have swine flu and are pregnant, very young, over 65, or have long-term conditions such as asthma or diabetes.

Follow this 3-step guide to help protect your own health and the health of others:

  1. If you feel very unwell
    Check your symptoms online at www.nhs.uk or call the Swine Flu information line on 0800 1 513 513
  2. Still concerned?
    If you have taken these steps and are still concerned call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or call your GP for more advice
  3. Please do not go to A&E
    Unless you are seriously ill

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is following a nationally approved Health Protection Agency (HPA) protocol—A&E staff use the protocol when triaging any patients with flu-like symptoms as a precaution and staff in key ward areas are prepared to respond as and when required.

All patients coming to the A&E Department at Chelsea and Westminster with symptoms that require them to be assessed and treated in line with the HPA protocol are being looked after in a segregated area of the hospital.

This ensures that these patients, both adults and patients, receive the most effective and efficient care in a designated area.

You can help us by following HPA guidance on general infection control practices and good respiratory hand hygiene which can help to reduce the transmission of all viruses, including swine flu:

  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue when possible
  • Dispose of dirty tissues promptly and carefully
  • Maintain good basic hygiene by, for example, washing your hands frequently with soap and water
  • Clean hard surfaces (eg door handles) frequently using a normal cleaning product