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Human Swine Influenza

Latest News

Current situation: The University is operating as normal. All staff and students are asked to follow the advice that has been issued on how to avoid and help limit the spread of infection. Anyone developing flu symptoms at the University should go home and contact the National Flu Pandemic Service on 0800 1 513 100 or visit the National Flu Pandemic Service website.


On this page:


Advice for Warwick Staff and Students

New Students

The University is operating as normal and all new students have now been welcomed to Warwick.

There has been widespread media coverage regarding swine flu and how it is affecting the UK. It is important to note that that there has been a significant reduction in the number of cases reported across the UK in recent weeks. Warwick takes the care of its students very seriously and works to ensure that arrangements to support them are robust and effective. We have a longstanding plan to address the issue of widespread flu and this is well-tested. A dedicated Planning Group is overseeing the arrangements. The University’s Student Support Division maintains close contact with the relevant health authorities on this issue to ensure that we are well-placed to enable cases to be identified and resolved quickly.

You will find listed below a number of links to up-to-date information on swine flu in the UK including the link to the National Pandemic Service which has been established to ensure that all individuals needing support are able to access it without delay.

Current Students
If you experience flu-like symptoms when you are at the University, you should return to your accommodation (either on or off campus), contact the National Pandemic Flu Service on 0800 1 513 200 (www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu) and act on their advice. You should not go into your GP Surgery or attend the hospital Emergency Department unless advised to do so because you might spread the illness to others. You should ask a friend to go out for you. Neither should you participate in teaching sessions, attend events in the Union or other venues on campus or access student support services based in University House or elsewhere on campus, so as to minimise the risk of further spread of flu. Please see information on the University intranet www2.warwick.ac.uk/insite/ for phone and email contact details for the service you wish to access .

If you experience flu-like symptoms at home (i.e. when living away from the University), contact the National Pandemic Flu Service on 0800 1 513 200 (www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu) if you are in the UK or your local medical service and act on their advice. You should not go into your GP Surgery or attend the hospital Emergency Department unless advised to do so because you might spread the illness to others. You should ask a friend to go out for them. You should not return to the University until you have consulted with your GP and they have advised you that it is safe for you to do so.

If you have particular concerns about the impact of swine flu on your health because you have another health condition you should contact your GP rather than the National Pandemic Flu Service. Please see www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu for guidance on groups who may be at higher risk.

Staff
If you experience flu-like symptoms when you are at work, you should inform your manager and then go home. You should then contact your GP and act on their advice. You should not go into your GP Surgery or attend the hospital Emergency Department unless advised to do so because you might spread the illness to others. You should ask a friend to go out for you.

If you experience flu-like symptoms at home, you should report your absence to your department, contact your GP and act on their advice. You should not return to work until you have consulted with your GP and they have advised you to do so.You should not go into your GP Surgery or attend the hospital Emergency Department unless advised to do so because you might spread the illness to others. You should ask a friend to go out for you.


UK Swine Flu Management

On 2 July 2009, the management of swine flu in the UK changed from 'Containment' to 'Treatment'.

What Does This Mean?
  • swine flu may be identified by clinical diagnosis rather than laboratory testing
  • anti-viral drugs will still be offered to all people with symptoms
  • tracing the contacts of people with swine flu and the preventative use of anti-viral drugs will stop

What does this mean for the University?
The University centrally is now managing swine flu in the context of its impact on the day to day operations of University activities rather than the management and tracing of individual cases. As such, Heads of Department or their appropriate nominees should follow standard University procedures to monitor sickness absence for staff and students.

What do you do As Head of Department if you have multiple absences in your department and it is affecting the provision of services?
You are advised to consult your HR Adviser in the first instance who will seek input from the University’s Business Continuity team as necessary.


Information Regarding Groups at Greatest Risk from Swine Flu

Participants at the recent World Health Organisation meeting agreed that the groups at greater risk were in three groups: "pregnant women, especially during the third trimester of pregnancy, children younger than 2 years of age, and people with chronic lung disease, including asthma."

The NHS provides more information on more vulnerable groups on their website:
http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Pandemic-flu/Pages/QA.aspx#mostvulnerable

Subsequently the University is reminding all members of the key messages from the Health Protection Agency:

If you have flu-like symptoms and are concerned that you may have swine flu:

  • Check your symptoms using the NHS Direct symptom checker.
  • If you don't have access to the internet or are still concerned, call the National Pandemic Flu Service on 0800 1513 513.

You are advised to contact your doctor if you have serious underlying health conditions, are pregnant, or care for a child under one or children whose condition suddenly gets worse and those whose condition is still getting worse after 7 days (5 days for a child).


Health and Hygiene - FAQs

What are the symptoms of swine flu?

Reported symptoms are much the same as those with seasonal flu:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Loss of appetite

Some sufferers of this new strain have also complained of diarrhoea and vomiting.

What should I do if I develop any of the symptoms?

If you have recently visited one of the countries or areas where human cases of swine flu have been identified, it is important for you to monitor your health closely for seven days after your visit to the affected area.

If you develop a feverish illness accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms - cough, sore throat, headache and muscle aches, you should contact your GP by phone (do not visit the surgery) or seek advice from NHS Direct (0845 4647). If you are based on campus, you should also alert the Security team on campus on ext. 22083. You should not call 999.

What can I do to prevent infection?

General infection control practices and good respiratory hand hygiene can help to reduce transmission of all viruses, including human swine flu.

This includes:

  • Covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue when possible
  • Disposing of dirty tissues quickly 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 face or to other people
  • Cleaning hard surfaces, including keyboards and door handles, regularly

All students should ensure they are registered with a local GP so that rapid medical treatment can be accessed if necessary. See more information from the NHS on registering with a GP(PDF Document).

Students visiting for a short period (for example, DLMBA September Seminars) will have access to emergency health care as required, such students should check they have adequate health insurance cover for the duration of their stay.

Swine Flu Leaflet from the NHS (PDF Document)

Swine flu Q&As on NHS Direct

Information from NHS Coventry(PDF Document)


Travel - FAQs

I've just returned to the UK from a country where there has been an outbreak of swine flu. What should I do?

If you develop flu symptoms within seven days of leaving an area where there has been an outbreak, stay at home or return home and contact your doctor, by phone, or NHS Direct (0845 4647) for advice. If you are based on campus, you should also alert the Security team on campus on ext. 22083 who will alert your local resident tutor.

I'm due to travel overseas on University business. Should I go?

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is advising people to check before travelling to see if their destination is affected by swine flu. For further information on overseas travel, visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office overseas travel pages.

If you are due to travel anywhere else in the world in the next few weeks, check the FCO website regularly for advice as this may change quickly.

I am about to travel to the UK. Should I still travel?

Check the Health Protection Agency website for up to date advice on travel to the UK.

Is treatment available?

Testing has shown that the human swine flu can be treated with antiviral agents. Outside of Mexico the majority of cases have been mild and cases have responded positively to antiviral treatment.

Current situation

For the latest information, you are advised to check the following sites which will be regularly updated on the swine flu outbreak:


Useful Resources