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Influenza

Throughout each phase of an influenza pandemic the council (along with local multi-agency partners) has robust arrangements in place to ensure that essential services are maintained for the residents of the London Borough of Hillingdon.

Preventative measures

  • The most common way of catching a virus is by touching your own nose, eyes or face with your fingers which may have picked up the virus from an infectious person or contaminated surface.
  • A person with a flu virus is likely to remain infectious for around seven days, especially when they are sneezing frequently and have a runny nose.
  • A virus can survive on hard surfaces for around 24 hours, so keep door handles and frequently handled surfaces or equipment such as phones clean with warm water and detergent or if not available an alcohol wipe. Avoid using other people's phones, VDU's, desks, pens, equipment or cups etc.
  • A virus can survive on your skin and hands for around five minutes so avoid touching your nose, eyes and face if your hands are not clean and wash your hands if contaminated.
  • Contain your own secretions and sneezes in a paper hanky and throw it away and then wash your hands to avoid transmitting the virus to others as far as possible.
  • Washing your hands and surfaces in soap and water and drying them is very effective in destroying the virus.
  • If you don't have access to a wash basin then rubbing your hands in an alcohol rub or wipes from a suitable dispenser is equally as effective (ask your manager about this if this is required).
  • Face masks are of little value in preventing infection unless it is part of an infection control regime in a health care setting, or worn by infected/symptomatic people to reduce spread to others.
  • Apart from these hygienic precautions, you could support your immunity by taking a balanced diet with adequate fruit and vegetables. Avoid smoke and cigarettes and reduce alcohol intake. Try and ensure you have a full nights sleep and take regular exercise to help.
  • If you do develop typical symptoms of respiratory infections including fever, headache, cough, sore throat, runny nose and aching in the muscles, you must stay at home for a week when you are at your most infectious and take adequate fluids and paracetamol or ibuprofen to relieve the symptoms. If a flu pandemic is announced, the media will have further advice available.
  • Flu vaccination for the expected usual seasonal strain of flu is recommended for those who are at risk, e.g. those with chronic health problems such as asthma or diabetes (your own GP will provide that if you have a chronic health problem).
  • The media will inform you when any vaccine specific to the pandemic virus is available or how to obtain antiviral medication in your local area, eg tamiflu if this becomes necessary.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 12 Jun 2017 at 13:53