Statement by Dr Peter Hayward, acting director of public health at West Sussex PCT, issued in conjunction with Dr Diana Grice, public health director for NHS East Sussex Downs and Weald and NHS Hastings and Rother, and Dr Tom Scanlon, director of public health at NHS Brighton and Hove
“The events elsewhere in the world, especially in Mexico and the US, are unusual but we can confirm there are no confirmed cases of swine flu in Sussex at this time.
“It is too early to tell whether this strain of swine flu will develop into a pandemic, but the local NHS has been preparing to respond to such a situation for five years. The Health Protection Agency, the NHS, and other partners are already working together to monitor the situation, and to respond accordingly.
“There are some basic and effective steps that people can take now to help keep themselves safe: simple things like washing your hands regularly, and remembering the expression ‘Catch It, Bin It, Kill It’ - catch your sneeze in a tissue, throw the tissue away, and wash your hands immediately afterwards.
“If you have recently travelled from the affected areas, and are showing signs of flu-like symptoms, the advice is clear - don’t go to your GP but instead stay at home to limit contact with others. Telephone your doctor or NHS Direct for advice.”
Regular updates can be found at the Health Protection Agency website at www.hpa.org.uk/ or the NHS South East Coast website at www.southeastcoast.nhs.uk/
Contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or visit the website at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/