GP online swine flu updates

GPs should be vigilant for signs of respiratory illness in patients recently returned from Mexico, the RCGP has warned.

As GP went to press, the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico had killed at least 103 people and infected thousands more.

Twenty cases had also been reported in the US and six in Canada, although no one outside Mexico had died at the time of writing.

Dr George Kassianos, RCGP immunisation spokesman, said: 'Any patient with febrile respiratory illness should be confined to the home and screened with viral nasopharyngeal swabs. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) should be contacted immediately for help.'

As GP went to press, the WHO was to meet to discuss raising the pandemic alert level, which could trigger the use of antivirals such as Tamiflu and Relenza.

Visit GP's website www.healthcarerepublic.com for the latest updates, and the HPA website for further advice.

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