Cases of swine flu continue to rise as the colder weather kicks in. While children seem to be most likely to get the virus, the advice is not to get too worried, as most little ones get only mild symptoms and quickly recover with no long term effects.
One thing to remember is that in a normal year, around 8,000 people die from flu, whereas swine flu has currently claimed around 154 lives.
Official figures show that the number of new infections of swine flu in the UK is around 80,000 per week.
If you’re worried about your family showing any symptoms, for those of you in England you should visit the National Pandemic Flu website or ring the helpline (0800 1513 100). It’s best to look at the site or ring first, rather than contact your doctor UNLESS:
- you have a baby under the age of one
- you’re pregnant
in which case you should call your doctor straight away.
If you’re in Scotland, you should contact your GP or ring NHS 24 on 08454 24 24 24.
If you’re in Wales, you should contact your GP or ring NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47.
If you’re in Northern Ireland, you should contact your GP or ring the Northern Ireland Swine Flu helpline on 0800 0514 142.
The main thing is to know what to do to minimise the chances of it spreading round your family and what medicines you all can take if you are affected.
Plus if you’re pregnant, you’ll want to know all about what swine flu means to you and your unborn baby, and what medication – if any – you can take.
That’s why we’ve put together your essential family guide to dealing with swine flu (and hopefully avoiding it all together).