Swine Flu Outbreak Updates: 01-May-09: UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office: FCO has advised (30-Apr-09) against all but essential travel to Mexico.

Swine flu has arrived in the UK. The sections below provide health and travel advice and more information on what swine flu is and what the government is doing to help combat it.
Latest news

Eight cases of swine flu have now been confirmed in the UK. Two of the new cases are from the London area and one is from the North East of England. All have mild symptoms and are responding to treatment at home.

The new cases follow three people identified as suffering from swine flu on Wednesday. A further two were identified on Monday.

The Health Protection Agency is working to ensure that anyone who has been in close contact with someone suffering from swine flu is offered anti-viral drugs as a precaution.

Swine flu figures

As of 17:00 GMT, 30 April 2009, the WHO reports:

  • 11 countries affected worldwide;
  • 257 confirmed cases of swine flu;
  • 8 confirmed deaths (Mexico = 7, US = 1);

What is swine flu?

Swine flu occurs regularly in pigs and most of the time humans do not catch it. However, the current strain of swine flu has crossed to humans and has now started to spread around the world through human-to-human contact.

Find out more about the cause of swine flu and how it differs from ordinary flu.

Protecting yourself against swine flu

Swine flu, like seasonal flu, is easily spread by the tiny droplets in a cough or sneeze. You may sneeze into an empty space but you will leave germs on a surface that another person will pick up simply by touching that surface.

By taking a few simple steps you can help to reduce the risk of getting swine flu and to stop the virus spreading.

Government action

The UK was the first European country to have a contingency plan in place for pandemic flu. At both national and local levels the public sector is working on pre-prepared contingency plans to help fight swine flu.

International travel advice

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is advising against all but essential travel to Mexico. If you'd like more travel advice for specific countries, follow the link below to the FCO website.

If you are in Mexico, routine Consular and all visa services at the Embassy in Mexico City have been suspended until further notice.