The NHS has issued guidelines on what swine flu is - and what to do if you think you have it.

** Symptoms are similar to seasonal flu but more aggressive

** It is a new version of the H1N1 strain which caused a pandemic in 1918

** The strain originated in pigs but is now a wholly human disease

** It can be spread by person to person by coughing and sneezing

** Normal flu kills 250,000 plus each year around the world

** The Government has a stockpile of vaccine Tamiflu, stockpiled as a precaution against such a pandemic


If you have flu-like symptoms, the best advice is to stay at home, rest, drink plenty of fluids and take over-the-counter flu remedies to help relieve the symptoms.

Only go to A & E if you are seriously ill.

Do not go to your local GP, isolate yourself as best you can to prevent the spread of flu.

There are six pharmacies in Hillingdon which stock the antiviral drugs, please send a friend or relative to pick up the drugs, do not go yourself.

If you have been in contact with someone who has the symptoms of flu, but you do not feel unwell, do not worry and carry on your business as usual.

Maintain good hygiene, always wash your hands and clean surfaces, such as door handles


April 13) First case of swine flu discovered in Mexico

April 27) Hillingdon as port authority for Heathrow announces it will monitor all arrivals through the airport

June 14) First death confirmed in UK

June 23) First case confirmed at a Hillingdon school at Vyners School, Ickenham

July 1) Uxbridge College and Oak farm Junior School confirm cases

July 8) Several more schools in the borough confirm cases of the virus, as 14 cases in Hillingdon are confirmed by PCT

July 13) New breaks that Six year-old from St Catherine's Primary School has died of swine flu