Symptoms are generally similar to those of normal flu but may be more severe and cause more serious complications
Look out for the two main symptoms together:
- Sudden fever (a high body temperature of 38C/100.4F or above)
- Sudden cough.
Other symptoms may also include:
- Aching muscles
- Limb or joint pain
- Diarrhoea or stomach upset
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Loss of appetite
The most important piece of information you have probably already heard is that the vast majority of people who contract the virus suffer from only mild symptoms and recover fully and safely. It is important that you follow NHS guidelines concerning diagnosis and the actions to take if you suspect you have the virus – both for your own safety and to minimise the spread to others. See NHS Swine Flu Q&A page for more details.
There are certain groups that are at more risk of serious illness than others if they catch swine flu – these should start taking anti-virals as soon as they are diagnosed.
There is a wealth of information about this issue and a flu-symptom checker on the NHS Flu Alert pages.
The National Pandemic Flu Service website and hotline have now been launched – visit www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu or call 0800 1 513 100.
At time of press, many local pharmacies have completely sold out of thermometers and they are finding it difficult to find suppliers.
Note: pharmacies are posting similar notices outside – if you are suffering from flu-like symptoms, you are advised to not enter the pharmacy. Instead, call the flu service hotline for advice.