SOLIHULL people are being urged by local ‘flu planners’ to prepare themselves for a possible second wave of Swine Flu in the coming weeks.
With most pupils returning to school this week, health experts are predicting a rise in cases in the UK, with a peak anticipated by the end of October.
Solihull NHS Care Trust and Solihull Council have procedures in place to help residents cope with a further outbreak, including antiviral collection points, at Solihull Central and Chelmsley Wood Libraries.
But there is much that individuals can do to help protect themselves against catching Swine Flu and limit its spread, said Director of Public Health for Solihull, Dr. Stephen Munday.
“Some people may think that Swine Flu has gone away because the number of cases has gradually decreased over the past six weeks, particularly during the school summer holidays,” said Dr. Munday, “But there is no room for complacency, and everyone should be just as alert to a Swine Flu outbreak as they were earlier in the year.
Dr. Munday said: “The spring outbreak followed the expected pattern for pandemic flu and doctors from the Health Protection Agency are anticipating an imminent Autumn outbreak. Added to this will be the seasonal flu that the UK – including Solihull – experiences every year, so people need to be particularly vigilant.”
Symptoms for both seasonal and Swine Flu are the same. Sufferers experience a high temperature, and may also have one or more of the following – headache, joint and limb pains, a cough, runny nose and sneezing, or an upset stomach.
Anyone with symptoms should stay at home, limit contact, and call the National Pandemic Flu Service on 0800 1 513 100 for advice on treatment, and how to obtain antivirals for Swine Flu (Tamiflu).
Good hygiene practices will also help limit the spread. People should ‘Catch It, Bin It, Kill It’ – catch sneezes in a tissue, throw the tissue away carefully and then wash their hands.