Swine flu has spread to pandemic proportions and has now affected thousands of people worldwide.
In the U.K the illness has been fairly well contained; however, many people have contracted the illness and therefore it is important to be aware of its symptoms and how to prevent it from spreading further.
What is swine flu?
Swine flu is a form of flu which is thought to have originated in pigs. The strain found in humans is known as the H1N1 virus.
Symptoms of swine flu
Many of the symptoms of swine flu are the same as those associated with common winter flu; however in most cases the symptoms are exaggerated and people may feel rather more poorly.
Common symptoms include a high temperature, muscles aches and pains, loss of appetite, lethargy, headaches, nausea, a sore throat and a runny nose.
If you have 3 or more of these symptoms you should consult the NHS National Pandemic Flu Service; if you are diagnosed with swine flu, you will be given a code which will enable you to collect the appropriate medication at your local collection point.
Treating swine flu
Anti-viral drugs will combat the vast majority of swine flu cases; these will be available to those who are suffering with the illness from a local collection point.
Preventing swine flu
Tips to stop the spread
If you are diagnosed with swine flu try to stay indoors and avoid busy areas. Throw away all used tissues and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Wash your hands thoroughly before eating and after going to the toilet.
The swine flu vaccination is now available in the U.K and is currently being offered to those most at risk of catching the illness; these people include those with a pre-existing serious health condition, young children, people with a suppressed immune system and vulnerable people over the age of 65.
Those who work in a healthcare setting will also be invited to receive a vaccination.