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Swine Flu Outbreak TLB no6 1-5-09

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					 Swine Flu Outbreak Top Lines Briefing No 6
                                 UNCLASSIFIED
 Updates are sidelined                                                                            As 1/5/09

THIS BRIEF CAN BE CIRCULATED INTERNALLY AND TO CATEGORY 1/2 RESPONDERS AND KEY
STAKEHOLDERS. PLEASE NOTE, HOWEVER, THAT THIS BRIEF IS DESIGNED TO ENSURE ALL            WHO PANDEMIC
PARTIES HAVE THE SAME TOP-LINES AND SHOULD NOT BE PUBLISHED ON THE INTERNET OR           PHASES
ISSUED PUBLICLY.                                                                         Moved from phase 3-4
                                                                                         On 27/4/09
BACKGROUND                                                                               Moved from phase 4-5
Cases of influenza A Virus (H1N1) have been confirmed in a number of countries           On 29/4/09
starting in Mexico. Thirteen people in the UK are now known to have contracted the
virus.                                                                                   COUNTRIES AFFECTED
                                                                                         There are confirmed
KEY QUOTES                                                                               cases in 13
Sir Liam Donaldson, the UK Government's Chief Medical Advisor                                Mexico
                                                                                             USA
“The first non imported cases of swine flu have been confirmed in England                    Canada
and Scotland. The infection appears to have been acquired by person to                       Spain
person spread within the United Kingdom. Until now, cases were confined                      UK
to people who had themselves recently come back from Mexico. The person                      New Zealand
                                                                                             Israel
in the South West is being treated with Tamiflu.
                                                                                             Germany
                                                                                             Austria
TOP LINES                                                                                    Switzerland
    A total of 13 confirmed cases have been reported in the UK. (10 in                       Netherlands
    England, 3 in Scotland).                                                                 Denmark
    More investigation and testing is needed to determine the severity of                    Hong Kong
    the disease and the ease with which it can spread. These investigations
    are currently underway with the support of the WHO.
                                                                                         INFORMATION FOR THE
    Testing has shown that the human swine influenza H1N1 can be treated
                                                                                         PUBLIC
    with the antiviral oseltamavir (Tamiflu®) and zanamivir (Relenza®).
                                                                                         it is always good
                                                                                         practice to follow
PUBLIC INFORMATION CAMPAIGN                                                              respiratory and hand
To keep the public informed, a mass public health campaign went live Thursday            hygiene such as:
30th with print, TV and radio adverts.
                                                                                            Covering your nose
                                                                                             and mouth when
The adverts warn the public about swine flu and remind people to cover their noses
                                                                                             coughing or
and mouths with tissues when they cough and sneeze and then throw the tissue                 sneezing, using a
away and wash their hands. The message is simple: catch it. Bin it. Kill it.                 tissue when
                                                                                             possible.
In addition, a leaflet will be dropped through people’s doors from next Tuesday (not        Disposing of dirty
everyone will get this on Tuesday (it will take a few days to get around the country.        tissues promptly
The leaflet is available to download (see web addresses at the end of page 2)                and carefully.
                                                                                            Maintaining good
                                                                                             basic hygiene, for
The Swine Flu Information Line as also gone lines and is available on 0800 1 513
                                                                                             example washing
513                                                                                          hands frequently
                                                                                             with soap and water
UK PREPAREDNESS                                                                              to reduce the
The UK has been preparing for a flu pandemic for the last five years, working with           spread of the virus
agencies at local, regional and national level. The Government has established a             from your hands to
                                                                                             face or to other
stockpile of enough antivirals to treat more than 33 million people, that is to say,
                                                                                             people.
half of the United Kingdom population. All NHS organisations have pandemic flu              Cleaning hard
plans in place and the Department of Health is now working closely with the NHS to           surfaces (eg door
ensure that these plans can be put into action so that antivirals can be made                handles) frequently
available to the public very rapidly should we reach that stage.                             using a normal
                                                                                             cleaning product.
                                                                                            Making sure your
MASS GATHERINGS
                                                                                             children follow this
                                                                                             advice.
Currently the Government is not advising avoidance of mass gatherings or social             Contact the Swine
events and there are no restrictions in place. This includes sporting events, concerts       Flu Information Line
and other public events.                                                                     on 0800 1 513 513
                                                                                            In Northern Ireland
It is important that those attending mass gatherings should continue to adopt the            please call 0800 0
                                                                                             514 142
hygiene measures designed to protect everyone from the virus including washing
their hands frequently and by covering their mouth and nose when coughing or
sneezing.

TLB No 6 Updates to nccinformation@cabinet-office.x.gsi.gov.uk or on 020 7276 5104

                                                 UNCLASSIFIED
 Swine Flu Outbreak Top Lines Briefing No 6
                                 UNCLASSIFIED
 Updates are sidelined                                                                            As 1/5/09


The position will be reviewed if the situation changes.

If you have flu-like symptoms, stay at home and call your GP or NHS Direct on 0845 4647. Do not go into your
GP surgery, as you may spread the disease to others. Ask your flu friend to go out for you .

TRAVEL ADVICE
The Foreign Office travel advice for those travelling to Mexico is:
           We are now advising against all but essential travel to Mexico.
           Routine Consular and all Visa Services at the Embassy in Mexico City have been suspended until
           further notice. British Nationals in Mexico, who have an urgent consular issue should call the
           Embassy on (01 55) 5242 8500 for assistance.
           British nationals resident in or visiting Mexico may wish to consider whether they should remain in
           Mexico at this time.
           British Nationals should continue to follow local advice on precautions to take to avoid exposure to
           the influenza.
           Travellers should consult a doctor immediately if they show signs of flu-like symptoms.

RETURNING TRAVELLERS
Clinicians have been asked to consider swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection when assessing returning
travellers and visitors to the UK who present with flu-like symptoms AND have a history of travel to affected
areas in the 7 days preceding illness onset.

Anyone who has recently travelled to the affected areas and is experiencing influenza like illness should stay at
home to limit contact with others, and seek medical advice from a local health professional or by contacting
NHS Direct.

FACEMASKS
Many people will wish to know whether they should wear facemasks. Although we are aware that facemasks
are being given out to the public in Mexico, the available scientific evidence does not support the general
wearing of facemasks by those who are not ill whilst going about their normal activities.

We are, however, urgently looking into how we can increase our stockpiles of facemasks for healthcare workers
who are treating sick patients. We have also established infection control guidance to support staff when
treating or caring for people who have symptoms.

EATING PORK
Swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food. You can not get swine influenza from eating pork or pork
products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork and pork products is safe.

GOVERNMENT RESPONSE AND THE ROLE OF COBR
Officials across government are meeting regularly to discuss the developing situation with regard to the
outbreak of flu. These are official level meetings of the Civil Contingencies Committee – colloquially known as
Cobr.

KEY WEBSITES
Directgov (www.direct.gov.uk/swineflu) the primary government website for essential cross-government swine
flu messages; NHS Choices (www.nhs.uk) the primary public-facing health information and advice service; the
Department of Health website (www.dh.gov.uk) the home of content relating to health and care professionals;
and Business Link (www.businesslink.gov.uk/swineflu) the home of business-related information.




TLB No 6 Updates to nccinformation@cabinet-office.x.gsi.gov.uk or on 020 7276 5104

                                                 UNCLASSIFIED

				
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