Swine flu is a respiratory illness caused by the type A flu (H1N1) virus. The current influenza pandemic (commonly known as swine flu) in countries around the world has been caused by a new version (strain) of the virus named as Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 by World Health Organization (WHO).
Transmission of this new virus is thought to occur in the same way as seasonal flu. The infection can be effectively treated with antiviral medication. Most reported cases in the UK have been mild and people have recovered fully after treatment.
Check for the latest information before you travel. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) regularly updates its travel advice to all countries. Visit the FCO website or call 0845 850 2829 for the latest alerts. Although the UK has cases of swine flu, travel to the UK is not restricted.
Health protection advice
General hygiene can help to reduce transmission of all viruses, including the swine flu virus. 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 your face or to other people.
If you are feeling unwell...
If you have flu-like symptoms and are concerned that you may have swine flu:
- Contact NHS24 on 0845 424 2424 or your GP