Essex man tests positive for swine flu

AN ESSEX man in his thirties has tested positive for swine flu, it was announced today (Thursday). The patient, who is from the North Weald area, has been given anti-virals and is responding well to treatment in his own home. Medical director at NHS West

AN ESSEX man in his thirties has tested positive for swine flu, it was announced today (Thursday).

The patient, who is from the North Weald area, has been given anti-virals and is responding well to treatment in his own home.

Medical director at NHS West Essex, Rory McCrea, said: "I can confirm that a man in west Essex has tested positive for swine flu.

"We have in place robust plans to tackle swine flu and keep them under regular review. Our incident team meets regularly to monitor the situation


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"There are simple steps that everyone can take to help prevent catching colds and flu based on good respiratory and hand hygiene. Always use a tissue to catch your sneezes, throw away used tissues where germs can linger and regularly wash your hands.

"If people are concerned because they have been to Mexico the US or any of the other affected areas and are developing influenza like symptoms, don't go to your GP, stay at home, call your GP or contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or via the web at www.nhs.uk"

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What is swine flu?

Swine flu is a form of the influenza virus commonly found in pigs, but can infect humans. Swine flu has been in existence for a number of years, but this appears to be a new subtype.

Is there treatment available?

Although there is no vaccine there are anti-viral treatments available to treat influenza. They reduce the length of symptoms and usually their severity.

Are there sufficient stockpiles of treatments?

Worst case scenario plans indicate that, in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak in the UK, up to 50 per cent of the population could become ill. The NHS has stockpiled sufficient anti-viral treatment to be able to treat this number.

Who is at risk?

Primarily people who have recently travelled back from an affected area or who have come into contact with someone who has been diagnosed with swine flu and is experiencing flu-like symptoms.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of Swine influenza in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human seasonal influenza infection and include fever, fatigue, lack of appetite, coughing and sore throat. Some people with Swine flu have also reported vomiting and diarrhoea.

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