Latest influenza information
Last updated 17-Dec-10 09:45
Over recent weeks there has been a small increase in the number of cases of flu reported in London, some of which have been caused by the swine flu virus. It is common for flu cases to increase in the winter months, so this is not a cause for concern.
Whilst swine flu is a relatively mild illness for most people, it can be very serious for some, with pregnant women and people with a long-term health condition more at risk of becoming seriously ill.
If you have flu-like symptoms, it is important that you call your GP if your symptoms persist or get much worse.
Flu vaccinations are our best defence against the virus. NHS London urges people in a risk group to visit your GP surgery and get the seasonal flu vaccination as soon as possible. This year the jab protects against three types of flu, including the type known as swine flu.
To prevent the spread of infection, the best advice is to cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, dispose of tissues in a bin, and to regularly wash your hands to stop the spread of the virus.
Preventing the spread of germs is the single most effective way to slow the spread of diseases such as swine flu. You should always:
- wash your hands regularly with soap and water
- clean surfaces regularly to get rid of germs
- use tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
- place used tissues in a bin as soon as possible
People should not go to A&E if they suspect they have flu. If you have flu-like symptoms, it is important that you call your GP directly if:
- you have a serious existing illness that weakens your immune system, such as cancer
- you are pregnant
- you have a sick child under one year old
- your condition suddenly gets much worse; or
- your condition is still getting worse after seven days (five days for a child.)
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