Swine Flu (H1N1 Virus)

What are the signs and Symptoms of Swine Flu?

The symptoms are similar to ordinary flu but may be more severe; characteristically sudden onset of fever, cough and sore throat. Other symptoms include runny nose, headache, severe weakness and fatigue, aching muscles and joints, vomiting and diarrhoea.

If you catch Swine flu?

  • Stay at home and rest
  • Take medicines such as paracetamol, asprin or ibuprofen to relieve the symptoms (follow the medical instructions on the packaging). Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Children under 12 must not be given asprin or ready-made flu remedies containing asprin.
  • If you suspect that you have contracted Swine Flu you should contact the doctors in the Waterford Medical Centre by telephone at 051 852999.

Who is at risk?

Certain people are at increased risk of serious illness if they contract Swine Flu and should contact the Waterford Medical Centre for further advice as antiviral treatment may be required:

  • Chronic lung, heart, kidney, liver or neurological disease
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • People on medication for Asthma
  • People aged 65 years and older
  • Children <5years (children <2years are at higher risk of complications)
  • Pregnant women
  • Severely Obese people (BMI >40)
  • Immunosuppressed people
  • People with blood disorders

You can reduce the risk of catching or spreading flu by:

  • Covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing using a tissue when possible. Disposing of used tissues promptly and carefully bag and bin them.
  • Avoiding non-essential travel and large crowds where possible.
  • Maintaining good basic hygiene, e.g. washing your hands frequently with soap and water, or using hand sterilisers where available.
  • Reducing the spread of the virus from your hands to your face, or to other people. Cleaning hard surfaces (e.g. kitchen worktops, door handles, frequently, using normal cleaning detergent.
  • Make sure your children follow this advice.
  • The H1N1 Vaccine is now included in the annual flu vaccine which will protect you from Swine Flu, this is available at the Waterford Medical Centre from October onwards.

Do I go to college or work?

If you are well then there should be no reason why you should not go to college or work. If you are unwell and have flu symptoms you should stay at home and ring the doctors in the Waterford Medical Centre on 051 852999.

For further information about Swine Flu Influenza A (H1N1) go to:

www.hse.ie
www.hpsc.ie