H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu)

Swine Flu or the Novel Influenza A H1N1 virus is sweeping the USA, with more cases being reported daily. The World Health Organisation (WHO) raised the pandemic alert level to Phase 6 on the 11th of June 2009. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)’has issued advice and guidelines along with taking steps to respond to the outbreak.

We all need to be aware of the symptoms so that we can recognize if someone has the virus and what to do next. The symptoms of Swine Flu are very similar to seasonal flu and include:

• Cough
• Sore Throat
• Fever
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Body aches
• Chills
• Fatigue
• Headache
• Vomiting and diarrhoea

If you do have these symptoms you should avoid contact with other people and not go into work for seven days after these symptoms begin, unless you need medical care. If you are at high risk for complications or severe illness, such as over the age of 65 or have a chronic medical condition such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease or are immunosuppressed be sure to contact your doctor immediately. Everyone should also be using the same precautions as you would with seasonal flu, washing hands regularly, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze etc.