Dramatic Drop in Local Swine Flu Cases

National Pandemic Flu Service to close

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Antiviral collection points in Shepherd's Bush

Swine Flu spreading quickly

Swine flu outbreak in W12

First case of swine flu confirmed in Hammersmith and Fulham

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The number of local swine flu cases has dropped dramatically, according to the local healthcare trust, which is now rolling back some of the measures brought in to deal with the virus.

"We have seen a significant reduction in the number of patients presenting with symptoms of flu. We will continue to monitor the situation, ensuring there is a unified, timely and appropriate response across our organisation to any change in situation," said Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, which includes Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte's hospitals.

"We would ask our patients and visitors to continue observing good hand hygiene practices when at our hospitals, and to stay at home and contact their GP if they think they have symptoms of flu. We would also like to thank our staff for their hard work and dedication to patient care during the latest flu outbreak," a Trust statement said.

The Trust says that due to the marked decrease in the number of cases of suspected flu, some of the visiting restrictions in the hospitals' maternity sections have been lifted.

"Siblings of babies are now allowed to visit, and tours of the birth centre and labour ward will be recommenced. We will review the situation if there is an increase in the number of flu cases," the Trust says.

The drop in the number of local cases is in line with the national picture: the number of new cases of H1N1 influenza in England per week has greatly reduced in recent weeks, and is currently less than seen with normal seasonal flu.

Because of this, the National Pandemic Flu Service will close down on February 11.

After this date, anyone who thinks they have symptoms of H1N1 influenza is being advised to stay at home and contact their GP, who will be able to make an assessment and authorise antivirals if necessary. These will remain available through antiviral collections points until further notice. Anyone who has a serious underlying illness, is pregnant or has a sick child under one year old should contact their GP directly. GPs can also advise patients on vaccination.

For up-to-date information visit www.direct.gov.uk/swineflu or call the swine flu information line on 0800 1 513 513.

February 10, 2010