Swine flu facts and fiction

At the moment, coverage of swine flu seems to be everywhere. We’re bombarded with info on it in the papers and on top of that, with winter approaching, it’s one of our biggest worries. How can we protect ourselves and our kids? Or are we just panicking for no reason? How dangerous is it really?

We have sorted the facts from the fiction about swine flu, so you can easily identify the symptoms, get answers to your niggling questions, and most importantly, not panic!

Q: I feel fluey, do you think I have swine flu?

No, it’s unlikely you do. At this time of year, flu is common but it is unlikely to be swine flu. How do you know if you do have flu? Our expert Dr Chris Steele says ‘go by the ‘Tenner Test’. If you really have flu, then you’ll feel so bad you won’t be able to get up out of a chair or bed to get a 10-pound note across the room. If you have a cold, it’s no problem to pick it up.’

However, if you have a high fever (over 38° / 100.4F), and two or more of the symptoms listed below, call the flu pandemic line straight away on 0800 151 3100 (text phone 0800 1 513 200) or search for pandemic flu on the Direct Government website:

A high fever
Unusual tiredness Muscle and joint aches Shortness of breath or coughing Loss of appetite Diarrhoea or vomiting

Your stories Have I got Swine Flu?