Swine Flu

30 Replies

I live in France and spend a third of my time working in the UK. Next week I will be working in a office in the UK where 3 people out of 50 have confirmed cases of swine flu. I have been looking on NHS Direct and the equilavent French websites about some advice but can't find anything giving advice about this situation, after working their a couple of days I will be returning to France. It is very easy to say I am not going, but it is a job and how I make my living. Anyone else in the same situation?

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heners-391406 1247753827

Thinking about it even more there must be lots of holiday makers coming here you have worked with people that have contacted swine flu.

Devonian-414213 1247754379

It is spreading like mad in the UK now - it would seem that Glastonbury has brought it to the west country and it is now in Yeovil. We have decided not to visit relatives in Somerset because of this but of course we have a choice.

The problem is that the UK provides just the right enviroment for a virus to explode and mutate into something stronger and more deadly.

All you can do is take steps to prevent being infected. There are viral handwashes on sale in the pharmacies which you don't need water for, don't do bisous or even handshakes and you could wear a face mask in crowds.

flibbertygibbet 1247756795

For goodness sake this is a flu pandemic - do not be so over dramatic folks...

Any type of flu can kill if the infected person is in a vulnerable state. A couple of years back thousands of people all over the world expired because of a flu virus. We cannot lock ourselves away to avoid infections only be sensible and take the usual precautions one takes all the time to waylay illness.
Cancelling trips to the UK may not be any use to you anyway as Swine flu is already here in France, apparently it is a worldwide pandemic.

EMO-395565 1247758371

"For goodness sake this is a flu pandemic - do not be so over dramatic folks..."

Flibbertygibbet - how can you say the above!!! - It is more than a flu pandemic, it is a lot more potent!!!

I do agree that people have to take more of a caaution with regards to hygene but it DOES effect people who are otherwise very healthy. Take for instance the little girl who passed away last week with it - she was otherwise healthy but she didn't get any treatment in time.

There are web sites on the NHS with what signs to look out for - what to do - and how you can help to protect yourself.

People should not ignore any symptoms - please be sensible, it's your and others health.

poppy56-408903 1247759205

Hi all

Are there any plans here in France for the flu jab Tamiflu?

flibbertygibbet 1247759560

I have not said not to take care or that it is not virulent. But this is a form of iINFLUENZA, the problem lies in the fact that there is not a viable vaccine against it yet (it is suppposedly in the pipeline).
The 6 year old girls death is still being investigated, if it does prove to have been caused solely by the Swine flu then I agree with many others that it puts a different angle on the illness.
I remember back to the Asian flu outbreak years ago when many thoudans of people lost their lives before an effective anti virus could be made.
Nobody must panic though, just take the precautions as described all over the place (not much being said here though is there? and hopefully you will be OK.
To be honest I am more concened about the secondary strain that will probably hit when the cold weather strikes, as so many more people will become susceptible to colds and flu anyway and do not forget that bird flu has not just gone away either.
In interviews ealier today some GP'S in the UK were saying that they were telling patients to treat it the same as any other flu and wrap up warm with plenty of fluids and paracetamol it should pass within a couple of days.

I repeat my initial remarks though, what is the point in cancelling trips when you cannot avoid an airborne virus anyway.

flibbertygibbet 1247760351

Just thought I should add that Tamiflu only prevents the progression of the swine and avian bird flu virus's but it does not kill it.
Cherie Blair is suffering from swine flu now too.....

chenejule 1247761107

Stockpile food and water, bolt and lock all doors and don't leave the house until the all clear is given. Keep all televisions and radios on for further advice. All borders from the UK should be closed and heavily guarded to stop people entering or leaving the country.

Lets get real we have been here before with widespread panic, look when Aids was supposed to wipe us all out, then avarian flu, now we have swine flu. There are more people killed on the roads then from swine flu so lets ban all cars.


Devonian-414213 1247765616

The problem with viruses is that they can mutate if the environment encourages it - swine flu has elements of human, avian and porcine flu so has the potential to change into something pretty horrific.

It doesn't pay to be arrogant or dismissive but to act wisely and take precautions. My brother (who is a doctor) said that what everyone was worried about, back in the day, was whether AIDS had the potential to change into something that was as easy to catch as a common cold. It hasn't done so but that doesn't mean that swine flu won't mutate into something more deadly.

orme-384975 1247766693

There has been quite a bit about the 'grippe A' on French TV over the last few days. A doctor said not to go to the 'flu parties' which are springing up, because you don't know if you will be one of those badly affected or not! So, while most cases are mild at the moment, no-one knows whether or not they would get a mild dose and therefore, and Devonian said, precautions should be taken.

The French authorities are preparing stocks of Tamiflu (although there has been a case in Denmark which is resistant to Tamiflu) and making plans for vaccination. Apparently the vaccine will mostly be for elderly people, those who are already ill or otherwise fragile and children under 18, and those working in places where they are likely to come into contact with the virus (doctors, nurses etc).

I think the thing that seems to be worrying the scientists is that this is a different form of flu from the usual winter flu (it's happening in summer for a start).

crawes 1247767124

last month mp's expences. Before that bankers bonuses. High charges for fuel.

Ill equipted troops

job losses. pension criceses. what is shutting out all of this ? a flue epidemic . we have to wise up to what goes on in the world of politics call me a cynic but they always bring up somthing to take your mind of a failing and immoral system of governance

orme-384975 1247771959

Well, the flu epidemic isn't shutting up the rest here. It gets a mention in the TV news and papers, but usually after the rest of the news items.

Anitab 1247772130

When I was at a Communith Health Council meting it was stated that if you had flu in the 1970's (78 I believe) then you will have an immunity to the swine flu or just get a cold. A Doctor has stated if you get a cold (and you will know if it is the flu!) go to bed take a lemsip. Start to get concerned if your temperature rockets to 120 plus.

I understand (unless it was on today's news) that with the little girl that died they are holding a post mortem to discover if there were any underlying factors. I know they discovered that the Doctor had pneuomonia, heart problems etc.

It may be in the UK but we are all just going about our normal days work etc. so don't panic, if you get it you get it - luck of the draw. Just be sensible.

auntievera 1247776901

My O.H's aunt died (not of swine flu) but in the I.C.U at the Luton & Dunstable hospital, the same I.C.U & Hospital that the GP died in last week.

We are going over for the funeral, my O.H. was in the same room as the GP (admittedly capped & gowned) who died, were still travelling.

I have chronic Asthma & Emphysema, and I'm not concerned over Swine Flu, if I get it maybe I will have cause for concern, but as my French GP states, I can't go round with a space helmet on all the time.

If your ticket is pulled out of the hat above then it's your turn to go, there is little we can do to avoid fate.

Sensible precautions is all that is required, and if you feel ill with flu like sysptoms, then seek advice from your doctor here, or if in the UK NHS direct

In closing I do wonder though, the French habit of kissing when we meet friends & family, will the French government ask people not to do this ?

auntievera 1247777023

I do mean by seaking help from your French GP here, I do mean phoning him or her for advice, not going to the surgery!!!

sunnyside-420072 1247841727

Am in touch with U.k. daily and it's certainly spreading rapidly. 55,000 cases reported.

So far, not too bad in France, but I agree with Auntie Vera - don't want to offend anyone but perhaps we should think about giving up kissing and be vigilant about hygeine, washing of hands. Not Paranoid, just sensible.

Tony1944 1247866839

The last big seasonal flu epidemic in the UK (1998 I think) killed over 40.000 (and little fuss was made of it) and this swine flu is nowhere near as dangerous.

ranchman 1247881257

[quote="Devonian"]The problem is that the UK provides just the right enviroment for a virus to explode and mutate into something stronger and more deadly. [/quote]

What an absolutely absurd statement. One school group from the West Midlands visiting Paris is just as likely to infect some of the populus, as is a plane full of Mexicans arriving at a major French airport.

Why on earth is the UK environment any different to a French environment?

PussInBoots-422572 1247902990

We were at our Dr's yesterday on an unrelated issue and asked her what the up to date thinking was about Swine Flu here. She confirmed a plan was in place for the Autumn for separate surgeries/home visits for suspected cases/GP's to wear masks & gloves etc. but that the feeling was it wouldn't get a hold until at least September. She also said that the French would NOT give Tamiflu routinely as the tested cases here were already mutated and it would be totally ineffective....

flibbertygibbet 1247915723

Dutchman following on from your comments about Devonian strange statement,

the latest news is that a British schools group (from all over the UK) is being held in quarantine after arriving in Beijing because 4 of the group have been tested and confirmed as having the swine flu. The children had high temperatures on arrival and were immediately tested.
This is a WORLDWIDE pandemic but there is absolutely no reason to go overboard and panic.
Who can honestly say that they have not caught any kind of flu bug in their lives? All one can do is take all reasonable precautions and normal health care and hope you are one of the lucky one to avoid it.
To be honest I would much rather catch it now and build up some kind of resistance before Winter comes because it is forecast (by the medical boards) to become a lot more virulant as this is the time that everyone has lower resistance levels when they have colds and usual Winter type problems ie: bronchitis and other respiratory complaints.

If your name is on the bullet there is not a lot you can do except duck and hope.
best wishes everyone

lemon-412199 1247922780

That's a good idea, when are they going to do it here in France.

almanac 1247930206

What on earth is meant by Emo's statement that swine flu is much more potent than an influenza pandemic! That is exactly what it is. No more, no less. A pandemic is an epidemic that has spread to wider boundaries which is hardly surprising given how much people travel now, and there doesn't seem to be anything to suggest that because this is named swine flu it is worse than other types of influenza. Like any other outbreak most people will not become so ill that they die and people with other health problems will have to be more careful as they should be every flu season. We are not talking about pneomonic plague or ebola virus.

orme-384975 1247931416

While this flu seems to be quite mild, the problem seems to be that it is a new virus they haven't come across before and therefore no-one can be sure how it will affect everyone, nor whether or not it is likely to mutate.


In the above link it mentions:

"This virus is not related to previous or current human seasonal influenza viruses."

so we can't say that it's just another case of flu like any other winter flu. It certainly travels fast. It may, of course, turn out to be less virulent than most flus! It doesn't do any harm to take precautions, like washing hands and trying to get small children not to touch their runny noses then touch the supermarket food, door handles etc ^-^ ! This sort of precaution would also go a long way to prevent the circulation of all those tummy bugs which seem to crop up when the kids go back to school.

heners-391406 1248191709

Well, as my original posting said 'I will be in the UK this week working in an office that has had 3 confirmed cases of swine flu' I am here in the UK and due back to France Saturday, I think I will keep clear of the elderly around the village for 7 days just in case I have it.

I could find no advice on this and life just carries on normally. I have to earn a living so not going wasn't an option.

flibbertygibbet 1248192980

I would love you to come and visit when you return to France, I want to take the advice I heard from a Doctor this morning who said it would be a good thing to catch it now and build up a natural resistance before Winter comes, that is apparently one way of getting protection.
One very worrying thing on the TV last night was said by an eminent scientist is that the Tamiflu vaccination because it is very new ,has not had time to be field tested properly so no one knows how young people or children will react to it, or what side effects it may produce in people. If that is true all I say is PLEASE LET ME GET THE SWINE FLU NOW.

swap shop lass 1248195332

Both my parent have just had it and they live here but had been back to the UK, I haven't caught it though as missed period where I could have caught it unfortunately as I agree that to get it now would be better.

Anthony Neil 1248796040

Does anyone know if Brittany Ferries and the like are checking people like they are at airports I think?

Karen-381938 1248799046

We have just returned from a 2 week holiday in Peru, flying from CDG Paris via Caracas. On the flights arriving in South America we had to complete a health declaration with contact details and details of where we had been staying and also state if we had had any symptoms within the last 7 days. When we travelled back to France on Friday no such declaration was needed.

If we had been particularly worried about swine flu we would have cancelled our holiday as it is much worse in S. America than Europe. But we didn't; most people there now seem to be taking a more pragmatic approach to it and we saw no signs of panic. We saw very few people wearing masks throughout our travels, although there were signs everywhere about taking sensible hygiene precautions and reporting symptoms promptly.

Personally we have decided that the risks with this flu are no worse and the symptoms, in the majority of cases, much milder, than "normal" flu. My husband caught flu several years ago in the UK and was bedbound for 3 weeks. He was so ill that I thought he was dying. Our GP at the time told us that far too many people say they have flu when in fact it is a bad cold. In her opinion, if you can get out of bed, you do not have real flu. As far as we have read and seen in most cases in Europe at least, the symptoms are not much worse than a bad cold except for those unfortunate few who are adversely affected. Let's face it, that happens with any other illness. It is terrible for those who are thus affected but we can't put our lives on hold on the off-chance that we will be hit in the same way.


orme-384975 1248806617

I don't know how the UK authorities can be sure of numbers anyway. If people are self-diagnosing via internet, no-one can possibly tell if they have swine flu or some other virus with similar symptoms. Surely the only way to know which virus is causing an illness is to have a blood test?

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