70 Years of the NHS NHS Kingston

Swine flu

What is swine flu?

Swine flu is a respiratory disease caused by the H1N1 flu virus.

How serious is swine flu?

For most people swine flu is mild. Patients with swine flu typically have a fever or a high temperature (over 38 degrees Celsius/100.4 degrees Farenheit) and two more more of the following symptoms: unusual tiredness, headache, runny nose, sore throat, shortness of breath or cough, loss of appetite, aching muscles, diarrhoea or vomiting. 

Some people are more likely to be seriously ill with swine flu. These can include young children over six months and under five years, people with long-term health conditions, pregnant women or people whose immune system is affected by a disease or treatment for a disease. They may need to go to hospital, or in the worse cases, some may die. Vaccination against swine flu is important in protecting people.

How can I protect against swine flu?

The H1N1 flu virus is now included in the seasonal flu vaccine. This means the seasonal flu jab will offer protection against the H1N1 strain of flu. 

Who should get vaccinated?

  • People aged over six months and under 65 years in current seasonal flu vaccine clinical at-risk groups
  • All pregnant women, subject to licensing conditions on trimesters
  • Household contacts of people with compromised immune systems e.g. people in regular close contact with patients on treatment for cancer 
  • People aged 65 and over in the current seasonal flu vaccine clinical at-risk groups. This does not include otherwise healthy over 65s, since they appear to have some natural immunity to the virus
  • Children between the ages of six months and five years

What should I do if I think I have swine flu?

Speak to your GP or call NHS Direct on 0845 4647, www.nhs.uk. They may prescribe you a course of anti-virals.

Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group, 2nd floor, Thames House,
180 High Street, Teddington, TW11 8HU
Tel: 020 39419900
Email: kingstonccg.communications@swlondon.nhs.uk

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