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Swine flu medicine at 11 local centres

PUBLISHED: 16:33 30 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:32 03 July 2010

ELEVEN anti-viral collection points have been set up across Great Yarmouth and Waveney to cope with the swine flu epidemic with medication said to be available in all major towns and villages.

ELEVEN anti-viral collection points have been set up across Great Yarmouth and Waveney to cope with the swine flu epidemic with medication said to be available in all major towns and villages.

The location of collection points is under constant review to ensure health professionals continue to meet demand at all times, and also have provision for people who need to collect anti viral-drugs outside of normal working hours.

Dr Augustine Pereira, consultant in public health medicine for NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, said: “Since the launch of the National Pandemic Flu Service last week, we have been urging anyone who has flu-like symptoms not to contact their GP, but instead call 0800 1 513 100 or visit www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu.

“They will then be assessed and, should they need anti-viral medication, advisors from the national service will give them details of their nearest collection point and a unique access number which will allow a 'flu friend' to pick up medication on their behalf.

“We are expecting the number of cases to rise and are prepared to respond to growing numbers of flu-like illnesses. However, it is important to stress that swine flu symptoms have generally been mild for the vast majority of people, and some may find they get better by staying in bed, drinking plenty of water and taking over-the-counter flu medication.”

Anyone who has taken antiviral medication but finds that their symptoms are getting worse should call their GP immediately - even if they do not have underlying health conditions.

Anyone who has been in contact with a person who has swine flu symptoms should carry on as normal. There is no need for that individual to stay at home and not go to work. Antiviral drugs will not be given to anyone who has been or is in contact with a suspected case of the virus.

People are reminded to take simple steps to help prevent catching colds and flu based on good respiratory and hand hygiene. Always use a tissue to catch your sneezes, throw away used tissues where germs can linger and regularly wash your hands.

Now that the number of cases is not being confirmed by laboratory tests experts say it is impossible to know how many people have contracted the disease. National news reports suggested this week that only 10pc of those who thought they had swine flu, had actually contracted the disease.

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