|The World Health Organisation has now raised the level of pandemic influenza alert to level 6, which means there is now increased and sustained transmission in the global population.|
However, this is an update to the world-wide status and does not mean that anything has changed locally. Phase 6 reflects the global extent of Swine Flu and is put in place when there is a certain level of geographical spread of confirmed cases worldwide, so the change in level does not reflect the severity of the virus.
Within the UK we have not seen widespread activity, although there have been a small number of outbreaks, which have been mainly school related.
In Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland the public is asked to remain vigilant. Local organisations are working together to monitor the situation regarding swine flu closely to ensure that we are ready to respond if circumstances change.
To deliver the most effective response, it's important that everyone does their bit and takes responsibility for protecting and preparing themselves and their families.
There are simple steps that everyone can take to help prevent catching colds and flu based on good respiratory and hand hygiene.
Always use a tissue to catch your sneezes, bin used tissues and regularly wash your hands.
Anyone who has recently travelled to the affected areas - Mexico, Texas, New York and California, and is experiencing influenza like illness should stay at home to limit contact with others, and seek medical advice by telephone from a local health professional or by contacting NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.
The most up to date information for the public is available on the NHS Choices website.
Further scientific information is available on the Health Protection Agency's website.
An information leaflet has been delivered to all households is now available to download here.
Rutland County Council
01572 722 577
start: Tuesday 12 May 2009