UCL Swine Flu Information
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Health and hygiene

What are the symptoms of swine flu?

The symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of ordinary influenza: sudden onset of fever (temperature of 38 degrees Centigrade or more), cough or shortness of breath, headache, sore throat, chills, aching muscles, tiredness, sneezing, runny nose and loss of appetite.

Watch an NHS Choices video about the differences between a cold and flu.

How does swine flu spread?

Influenza mainly spreads from person to person through close contact. Coughing and sneezing within a metre or so of another person can expose them to infectious droplets.

Hands can become contaminated through touching contaminated surfaces e.g. door handles or other surfaces contaminated with the virus. If you then touch your mouth, eyes or nose before washing your hands you can catch the infection.

How can I protect myself against swine flu?

The best protection against swine flu is to follow NHS hygiene precautions, and in particular to wash your hands more regularly than you would generally.

You are also advised to cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing, using a tissue where possible, and clean hard surfaces (such as door handles, shared computer key boards) frequently using a normal cleaning product. 

What should I do if I develop flu-like symptoms?

If you think you might have swine flu, you should seek advice from the National Pandemic Flu Service: https://www.pandemicflu.direct.gov.uk/

Telephone: 0800 1 513 100
Minicom: 0800 1 513 200

Do not go to your GP’s surgery unless you are advised by NHS Direct to do so.

For more advice about flu and possible vaccination, please see the Occupational Health Service website.

Use the links on the left to find out more.

Page last modified on 23 jul 09 16:28