Health chiefs: We are ready for swine flu

HEALTH chiefs in Suffolk say they are preparing for any possible outbreak of swine flu as the number of suspected cases in the UK reached 25 last night.

Kate McGrath

HEALTH chiefs in Suffolk say they are preparing for any possible outbreak of swine flu as the number of suspected cases in the UK reached 25 last night.

Dr Brian Keeble, consultant in public health medicine at NHS Suffolk, said they were working closely with the Health Protection Agency in the East of England as the situation developed.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson told the Commons yesterday that the UK was one of the best prepared countries in the world and had been preparing for a flu pandemic for five years.


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But he added: “There is understandably trepidation and concern across the world.”

No cases of the 'Mexican' flu have so far been reported in Suffolk, and local health officials issued public advice yesterday.

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Mr Keeble said: “At this point we would like to emphasise that general infection control practices and good hand hygiene can help to stop the spread of all viruses, including the human strain of swine influenza.

“This includes covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue when possible, disposing of dirty tissues promptly and carefully, maintaining good basic hygiene for example washing hands frequently with soap and water to reduce the spread of the virus from your hands to face or to other people.

“Cleaning hard surfaces (e.g. door handles) frequently using a normal cleaning product and finally, making sure your children follow this advice.”

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