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Swine flu preparedness—important information for patients and the public

28 April 2009

The NHS is working with the Health Protection Agency to monitor the current situation in Mexico, and any risk to the UK - for the most up to date information and advice please visit www.hpa.org.uk.

The NHS is working with the Health Protection Agency to monitor the current situation in Mexico, and any risk to the UK - for the most up to date information and advice please visit www.hpa.org.uk.

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is following a nationally approved Health Protection Agency protocol—A&E staff will 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.

Everyone can play their part by following Health Protection Agency 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

If you have recently visited one of the countries or areas where human cases of influenza have been identified, it is important for you to monitor your health closely for seven days after your visit to the affected area. There is no need for you to isolate yourself from other people as long as you remain well.

If during this period you develop a feverish illness accompanied by one or more of cough, sore throat, headache and muscle aches, you should stay at home and contact your GP by phone or seek advice from NHS Direct (0845 4647). You should make sure that you tell those from whom you are seeking advice about your recent travel to an area affected. Depending on your symptoms you may be advised that further investigations may be necessary.

For more information, you can visit the following websites: