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Swine flu advice for UK homes

29th April 2009

Every household in the UK is set to receive a leaflet about the swine flu outbreak and how to prevent its spread.

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The Department of Health is also looking at increasing stockpiles of masks, which are likely to be issued to health professionals.

The number of swine flu cases is rising across the world and test results are expected on 23 people in Scotland.

So far some 160 people have been killed by it in Mexico and America has confirmed the first death outside of Mexico with news that a 23-month-old child has died.

Chief Medical Officer for England Sir Liam Donaldson and Health Secretary Alan Johnson have held emergency talks and kept Prime Minister Gordon Brown briefed, with the World Health Organisation now raising the alert status to level four.

A Department of Health spokesman said: "We are urgently looking into how we can increase our current stockpiles of facemasks for healthcare workers who would come into close contact with symptomatic individuals during an influenza pandemic."

The Health Protection Agency is not releasing details about any suspected cases in England until swine flu was confirmed.

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson has said anti-viral drugs will be used to treat patients showing symptoms, should the virus start spreading in the UK.

The Foreign Office is advising against all but essential travel to Mexico and has suspended routine consular and visa services at the Mexico City embassy.

NHS Direct has put a freeze on staff time off as it anticipates a sharp rise calls. Its website has been busier than usual.

 

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