RCGP urges swine flu vigilance

GPs should be vigilant for any signs of respiratory illness in patients who have recently returned from Mexico, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has warned.

Photograph: istockphoto/Tomaz Levstek
Photograph: istockphoto/Tomaz Levstek

This comes after an outbreak of swine flu in Mexico killed at least 103 people and infected thousands more.

20 cases have also been reported in the US and six in Canada, although no one outside of Mexico has yet died.

Dr George Kassianos, RCGP immunisation spokesman, said: ‘Any patient presenting with febrile respiratory illness should be confined to the home and screened with viral nasopharyngeal swabs.

‘In such a case the HPA should be contacted immediately for help.’

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced plans to meet in Geneva to discuss the situation and to consider raising the pandemic alert level, which could trigger the use of antiviral drugs, such as Tamiflu and Relenza.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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