1. ITV Report

Guide: What to do if you have swine flu

Vaccination against swine flu Photo: PA

There was a world-wide swine flu pandemic between 2009 and 2010.

In August 2010 the World Health Organisation declared that the pandemic was officially over.

Two cases have now been confirmed in Dumfries and Galloway.

Below is a guide on what symptoms to look out for, and what to do if you think you have contracted the H1N1 virus.

Symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of seasonal flu, however more severe symptoms may be experienced by people in 'high-risk' groups.

Symptoms to look out for are:

  • Unusual tiredness
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath or cough
  • Loss of appetite
  • Aching muscles
  • Diarrhoea or vomiting

For most people, the affects of swine flu are mild, however the H1N1 strain of virus can be particularly harmful for people belonging to high risk groups.

It is known that you are particularly at risk if you have:

  • Chronic (long-term) lung disease
  • Chronic heart disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Chronic neurological disease (neurological disorders include chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease
  • Immunosuppression
  • Diabetes mellitus

Also at risk are:

  • Patients who have had drug treatment for asthma within the past three years
  • Pregnant women
  • People who are 65 years of age or over

It is recommended that people in high-risk groups be vaccinated against swine flu. This includes all pregnant women, at any stage of pregnancy.

What to do if you think you have swine flu:

People who have contracted the H1N1 virus will typically have a fever or high temperature (over 38c), and may also have sore muscles, a dry cough and a sore throat, similar to symptoms of seasonal flu.

Most people can get better within a week by staying at home and resting, drinking water and taking over-the-counter medication.

However if you are in a high risk group or suffer more sever symptoms then you should contact your local GP.

For further information, you can visit the NHS website here.