Our web poll result used to get swine flu message across

HEALTH officials urging people to heed their advice after a Gazette online poll shows 60 per cent of people are failing to take precautions against swine flu. Devon Primary Care Trust (PCT) has reminded people in North Devon about taking the right precaut

HEALTH officials urging people to heed their advice after a Gazette online poll shows 60 per cent of people are failing to take precautions against swine flu.

Devon Primary Care Trust (PCT) has reminded people in North Devon about taking the right precautions to limit the spread of the virus.

Our online poll suggests that almost 60 per cent of people in the region are not taking precautions to prevent the spread of swine flu.

Dr Virginia Pearson, director of public health at Devon PCT, said that most people in this country had only been affected mildly by swine flu and there were ways to help stop it spreading.


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"The NHS is well prepared for the outbreak of swine flu and we have been giving out many public health messages over the last few months," she said.

"We would like to thank the North Devon Gazette for bringing to our attention the fact that 60 per cent of respondents to a poll are failing to take precautions.

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"It gives us an opportunity to remind people of the latest public health messages."

The best way to reduce the risk of catching or spreading swine flu is to follow the public health advice:

CATCH IT: germs spread easily. Always carry tissues and use them to catch your cough or sneeze.

BIN IT: Germs can live for several hours on tissues. Dispose of them as soon as possible.

KILL IT: Hands can transfer germs to any surface you touch. Clean your hands as soon as you can.

People should also consider setting up a network of flu friends.

This could include neighbours, friends or relatives, who could collect medicines, food and other supplies so that the patient doesn't have to leave home.

"Although we expect the number of people with the virus to rise over the coming weeks and months, we are working closely with the Health Protection Agency and Devon County Council on the response to the pandemic," Dr POearson said.

People are advised to call the swine flu information line 08001 513 513 or check their symptoms online by visiting www.nhs.uk

People should only call NHS Direct 0845 46 47 or their GP if they have used these information sources first.

They should not attend walk-in centres, NHS hospitals or GP practices in person if they have symptoms.

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