A RISING number of swine flu cases has prompted a change in tactics for Solihull’s health services.
The borough has now joined Birmingham, Coventry and Sandwell as an area where there is “widespread community transmission”.
This means that local people will no longer be diagnosed by lab tests. Instead the diagnosis will be carried out by a GP or NHS Direct.
From now on schools will only close in exceptional circumstances.
A spokesman for Solihull NHS Care Trust said: “For most people, swine flu remains a milder illness than was previously thought and most people can help themselves by taking over-the-counter remedies.”
But patients in high risks groups should immediately seek medical advice if they notice swine flu symptoms. Among those at risk include the under fives, the over 65s and people with underlying health problems.
Anyone who is worried can call NHS Direct (0845 46 47), the swine flu hotline (0800 1 513 513) or visit www.nhs.uk.