Swine flu may09
Advice to returned travellers from
countries affected by swine influenza
Symptoms of swine influenza are similar to those of seasonal influenza, usually a feverish illness
accompanied by one or more or more of cough, sore throat, headache and muscle aches. For most people
this illness appears to be mild. Infection with this virus is treatable with the anti-viral drugs oseltamivir
(Tamiflu®) and zamanivir (Relenza®).
What should I do if I have returned from a country affected by swine influenza?
If you have recently visited one of the countries or areas where human cases of influenza have been
identified, it is important for you to monitor your health closely for seven days after your visit to the
affected area. There is no need for you to isolate yourself from other people as long as you remain well.
If during this period you develop a feverish illness accompanied by one or more of cough, sore throat,
headache and muscle aches, you should contact your GP by phone or seek advice from NHS Direct (0845
4647). You should make sure that you tell those from whom you are seeking advice about your recent
travel to an area affected. Depending on your symptoms you may be advised that further investigations may
If further investigations are felt to be needed you will be advised on appropriate arrangements for you to be
tested. This may include admission to hospital. For most cases however, you will be well enough to
remain at home. It is important you avoid contact with other people as much as possible until the results of
your tests are back. Your household contacts should also monitor their health and follow the above advice
if they get symptoms.
Should you develop symptoms you should follow standard respiratory and hand hygiene and ensure that:
You avoid contact with other people as much as possible
You cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue when possible. Dispose of dirty tissues promptly and carefully
Maintain 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
Clean hard surfaces (eg door handles) frequently using a normal cleaning product
Make sure your children follow this advice
What are the symptoms of swine influenza?
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. What measures can I take to prevent infection?
General infection control practices and good respiratory hand hygiene can help to reduce transmission of all
viruses, including the human swine influenza. This includes:
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
Is treatment available?
Testing has shown that the human swine influenza H1N1 is sensitive to, and can be treated with, the
antivirals oseltamavir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza).
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