Advice for people with flu-like symptoms

If you have flu-like symptoms and have recently returned from one of the areas affected by swine influenza you should stay at home and call NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or your GP for advice.

Details of the affected areas can be found on the World Health Organisation’s website –

You can check the symptoms of swine flu on the NHS Choices website – – and a swine flu information line is also available by calling 0800 1 513 513.

There are a number of measures you can take to reduce the transmission of all viruses, including the human swine influenza.

These include:

  • Covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue when possible
  • Disposing of dirty tissues promptly and carefully
  • Maintaining good basic hygiene, for example washing hands frequently with soap and water to reduce the spread of the virus from your hands to face or to other people
  • Cleaning hard surfaces (e.g. door handles) frequently using a normal cleaning product
  • Making sure your children follow this advice.

Hand hygiene is recognised as the single most important activity for minimising the risk of infection.

In an emergency you should call 999.

You can also prepare now and in the build-up to a pandemic by:

  • Confirming a network of ‘flu friends’ – friends and relatives who could help you if you fall ill. They could collect medicines and other supplies for you so you do not have to leave home and possibly spread the virus
  • Knowing your NHS number and those of other family members and keeping them in a safe place. You will be able to find your NHS number on your medical card or other items such as prescribed medication, a GP letter or a hospital appointment card/letter.
  • Having a stock of food and other supplies available at home that will last for two weeks, in case you and your family are ill.
  • For more information, please see this page on our website.