Swine flu tests prove negative
PUBLISHED: 18:10 06 May 2009 | UPDATED: 10:41 23 August 2010
RESIDENTS in the county have undergone tests for the deadly swine flu, prompting calls for calm from health bosses. The Kent Health Protection Agency is continuing to monitor the situation, urging residents to continue to be vigilant to halt the spread
RESIDENTS in the county have undergone tests for the deadly swine flu, prompting calls for calm from health bosses.
The Kent Health Protection Agency is continuing to monitor the situation, urging residents to continue to be vigilant to halt the spread of the virus.
They said all residents across the county should receive a leaflet within 10 days giving safety precautions on the deadly virus, in conjunction with a national TV campaign 'Catch it, bin it, kill it'.
In the UK the numbers infected have risen to more than 25 people leading to Alleyn's School, in Dulwich, south-east London shutting down when it experienced five cases of the outbreak.
Dr Mathi Chandrakumar, director of the Kent Health Protection Unit, said: "We have arranged tests for a number of cases in Kent.
"I am pleased to say all the results we have had so far are negative. We will continue to monitor the situation."
He said the Kent HPU had a "small stock" of the anti-viral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza, which would only be given to people who showed symptoms of the disease.
People are being urged not to go to their doctor's surgery if they have symptoms, which range from typical seasonal flu symptoms such as fever and head aches. Some victims of swine flu have also suffered vomiting and diarrhoea.
The primary care trust
for Dartford, Gravesham
and Swanley, NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent, says good hand hygiene and using tissues for sneezes and
coughs are the best way to stop infections spreading.
A spokesman for the trust said: "There have been no confirmed cases in Kent and Medway, but NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent has robust plans in place should a pandemic be declared.
"Emergency planning teams have been working for several years on preparing for such a situation and is geared up for any further development."
The World Health Organisation has said that the UK is at the forefront of preparations internationally for pandemic influenza.
People are also urged not to attend A&E if they think they have flu-like symptoms but to contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or visit www.nhsdirect. nhs.uk.
Anyone suffering from flu symptoms should follow the "catch it, bin it, kill it" guidance, that is using and disposing of tissues properly.
It is also important to wash hands and surfaces thoroughly to help stop the spread of infection.
Latest figures revealed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) reveal 21 countries are affected worldwide, there have been 1,124 confirmed cases and 26 confirmed deaths, all in Mexico except one in the US.
Vital facts about the virus...
- The flu virus can live on a hard surface for up to 24 hours and a soft surface for around 20 minutes.
- Spread through coughing and sneezing not caught by a tissue: droplets can spread about one metre (3ft) and can be breathed in.
- Also spread by touching infected droplets on surfaces: touching your face after contact virus can enter your system more easily.
- After infection, it takes less than two days for symptoms to start, at which point people are most infectious.
- Evidence suggests influenza spreads rapidly in closed communities such as schools or residential homes.
- Only one person has died of the virus outside Mexico.
- Early doses of antiviral medicines such as Tamiflu are effective in helping people to recover. The UK has enough antivirals to treat half the population.
- Symptoms of swine flu similar to human seasonal flu: fever, fatigue, lack of appetite, coughing and sore throat. Victims of swine flu have also reported vomiting, diarrhoea and aches and pains in muscles
- Those returning from Mexico or another affected country and have flu-like symptoms should stay at home and call their GP or NHS Direct on 0845 4647. Do not go into your GP surgery or to a hospital as you may spread the disease to others.
- Health Protection Agency (HPA) says the new swine
flu virus is highly contagious and is spreading from person to person.