Swine Flu - Q&A Information sheet for SchoolsSwine Flu - Q&A Information sheet
• Is it true there is a confirmed case of swine flu in Torbay?
• Are schools likely to close?
• What are the symptoms of swine flu?
• Am I or my family at risk of getting swine flu?
• What measures can I take to prevent infection?
• What should Headteachers and managers do?
• Is this the next influenza pandemic?
• If you or someone who works for you has been to the affected areas of Mexico and/or the U.S and is feeling unwell what should they do?
• What should I do if I think I’m infected?
• Will antivirals be given to people without flu symptoms?
• Pregnant women and people with certain kidney conditions - Is one of the antivirals more appropriate?
• How will I gain access to antivirals?
• Further advice
• How to keep up to date on swine flu Is it true there is a confirmed case of swine flu in Torbay? Yes. There has been a confirmed case of swine flu in a year 7 student at Paignton Community Col ege. The student has been to an affected area on holiday and had developed symptoms on her return. Are schools likely to close? It is still unknown. Each school will consider this individually on a case by case basis with advice from the Health Protection Agency and Torbay Care Trust. What are the symptoms of swine flu in humans? The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human seasonal influenza and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Am I or my family at risk of getting swine flu? The Torbay Care Trust has been working closely with the Health Protection Agency, Torbay Council and Paignton Community Col ege. Students who have had close contact with the girl at the col ege have been offered anti viral drugs (Tamiflu). The Care Trust is keen to reassure the local community that only those who attend the school in year seven or have had close contact with the student need to be offered the anti viral drugs. Swine Flu - Q&A Information sheet for SchoolsWhat measures can I take to prevent infection? This swine flu virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human. But, at this time, we don’t know how easily the virus spreads between people.
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
• Disposing of dirty tissues promptly and carefully in covered receptacles.
• 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.
For further information contact the National Flu Helpline 0800 1 513513 or online at
What should Headteachers and managers do?
• Monitor staff for symptoms. If they appear unwell, recommend they go home and
• Notify Headteacher or manager if confirmed case.
• Headteacher/manager to notify H&S Team.
• If you have staff who are medical y classed as vulnerable or are pregnant, carry out a
specific risk assessment for the work they are likely to undertake. Vulnerable people include those with e.g. asthma, diabetes, suppressed immune system, heart problems. A full list can be found at
Is this the next influenza pandemic? It is too early to say whether the small number of cases internationally will lead to a larger outbreak or could represent the appearance of potential pandemic strain of influenza virus.
There is currently insufficient evidence to understand the extent to which cases are firmly linked or to make a complete assessment of the health implications of this new virus.
Experts from around the world are working in close col aboration with the World Health Organization to help determine what risk this situation poses to global public health. If you or someone who works with you has been to the affected areas of Mexico and/or the U.S and is feeling unwell what should they do? Anyone who has recently travelled to the affected areas and is experiencing influenza like il ness should stay at home to limit contact with others.
Do not go to your GP. Stay at home and call your GP for advice. Do not attend work. Telephone your manager to inform them. What should I do if I think I’m infected? If you or someone you have been in contact with have recently returned from Mexico or another affected country and you have flu-like symptoms, stay at home and call your GP or NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or online at Swine Flu - Q&A Information sheet for Schools
Do not go into your GP surgery, or to a hospital, as you may spread the disease to others. Ask your flu friend to go out for you.
Each of us 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, GP letter or 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. Will antivirals be given to people without flu symptoms? Yes. The government is currently giving antivirals to the close contacts of the confirmed cases. The government will keep this under review as the situation develops. The definition of ‘close contacts’ is based on Health Protection Agency guidance, which states that individuals exposed to a probable or confirmed case within a distance of one metre or less and for longer than one hour should be offered antivirals as a precautionary measure. Pregnant women and people with certain kidney conditions - Is one of the antivirals more appropriate? Relenza is an inhaled drug that will be used for pregnant women and people with certain kidney conditions who are unable to take Tamiflu. How will I gain access to antivirals? Arrangements are being put into place with local healthcare services for antivirals to be made available to those who need them. People with symptoms and others at risk will be assessed by their GP. If antivirals are required, the GP will contact the local Health Protection Unit, which is coordinating the distribution of antivirals. The drugs are then delivered straight to the patient's home, if this is the most appropriate route, so they can remain isolated from others. If you have flu-like symptoms, stay at home and contact your GP or NHS Direct on 0845 4647. Do not travel out to your GP or hospital. Further advice If you feel unwell and have very recently returned from or been in close contact with someone who has recently returned from an affected area, please contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647, visitor telephone your GP surgery. You should also take sensible precautions to avoid the spread of germs by sneezing or coughing into a tissue and disposing of it properly. Also wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water and dry them properly. Further information To keep up to date on swine flu further information, including affected areas, is available at: O
Information can also be found on the Health Protection Agency website at
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