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Swine Flu

Latest information about Swine Flu from the NHS

Government websites with official information about swine flu


Latest NHS swine flu briefing


Update on activity

Health services across the North of Tyne continue to be very busy. GP practices have seen an increase in activity and the GP out of hours service is dealing with about twice as many people as it would expect to at this time of year and staff who are working in the antiviral centres have been issuing between 5-600 antivirals a day.


We now have four antiviral centres up and running – Newcastle, Hexham, Blyth and Shiremoor and expect to have a centre in Berwick by early next week. Numbers attending the centres are being closely monitored and more will be opened as necessary.


New national service

A new self-care service which will give people with pandemic swine flu symptoms fast access to antivirals has been launched by Health Secretary Andy Burnham.

phoneline (0800 1 513 100 or 0800 1 513 200 (Textphone))

for people to check their symptoms and get a unique number which will give them access to antivirals if necessary.


How to collect antivirals

People who have swine flu symptoms will be given a unique access number and told where their nearest antiviral collection point is. They should then ask a flu friend – a friend or relative who doesn’t have swine flu – to go and pick up their antivirals.


The flu friend must show their own ID as well as that of the patient. The authorisation number and ID information will be checked to ensure it matches the information provided when the assessment of symptoms was completed.

Advice for the public

Anyone who suspects they have swine flu is advised not to go to their GP or A&E.

People should contact their doctor direct rather than using the National Pandemic Flu Service if:

  • they have a serious underlying illness;
  • they are pregnant;
  • they have a sick child under one year old;
  • their condition suddenly gets much worse; or
  • if their condition is still getting worse after seven days (five for a child).


For the vast majority of people, swine flu has been mild. Some people find that they get better by staying in bed, drinking plenty of water and taking over the counter flu medication.

As swine flu spreads, it is important to be able to recognise its symptoms. People who have two of the following symptoms and a temperature of 38° C and above or feels hot may have swine flu.

The typical symptoms are:

• sudden fever (a high body temperature of 38C/100.4F or above), and

• sudden cough.

Other symptoms may include:

• headache,

• tiredness,

• chills,

• aching muscles,

• limb or joint pain,

• diarrhoea or stomach upset,

• sore throat,

• runny nose,

• sneezing,

• loss of appetite.

We can all help reduce the spread of infection by following basic hygiene rules; cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, dispose of the tissue immediately and then wash your hands thoroughly. In short – catch it, bin it, kill it.


Further information

Further information, including questions and answers, is available by calling the

National Pandemic Flu Service information line on 0800 1 513 513.


Futher information can be found at the following websites

  • NHS swine flu advice


  • NHS swine flu Health A-Z


  • NHS swine flu symptoms


  • NHS swine flu Q&A


  • NHS Swine flu news


  • NHS swine flu – other languages


  • For business information on swine flu go to Business Link