Swine Flu Outbreak Increases - Two Ealing Schools Now Affected

Situation is changing'by the hour' - residents urged not to panic

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Pupils at two Ealing schools have been tested positive for swine flu.

Letters have already been sent to staff and parents of children at the Grange Primary School in Ealing after a child from Year 6 was discovered to have caught the virus - several others are suspected.

Yesterday NHS Ealing said that two other schools as well as Grange had cases but reduced that number to just one.

The Council has not released details of the schools or the numbers of children involved, but a source close to Ealing Today has been told it is Dormer Wells Junior in Southall with a suspected case at Mandeville Special School in Northolt.

A letter has been sent to all parents/guardians of the affected schools giving details of a local flu line to call for advice.

In Ealing, the Health Protection Agency has indicated that the virus is likely to be circulating in the community and, therefore, school closure would not have any impact on reducing its spread.

A spokesperson from NHS Ealing told Ealing today that the situation was 'changing by the hour'.

Robert Creighton, Chief Executive of NHS Ealing, said: "I would like to urge local residents not to panic. NHS Ealing is working closely with Ealing Council, Ealing Hospital and other NHS organisations locally to ensure that patients who have symptoms of the virus are looked after properly. Currently local patients have very mild symptoms and some pupils are returning to school after two or three days. If people take our advice and stay home when they are not well, as they would with any other type of flu-related illness, then we will all be able to get back to normal as quickly as possible."


A statement from NHS Ealing adds;

NHS Ealing is working with the Health Protection Agency and Ealing Council to ensure swift access to antiviral medication* for people who have flu-like symptoms.  Family or friends of sick people will be able to collect antiviral medication* from a nearby collection centre in Ealing only after the patient has been referred by their GP or NHS direct. The centre will be open from 8am to 8pm to administer antiviral medication* to patients who are experiencing flu-like symptoms.

This is NOT a treatment centre, but a distribution point only. Flu friends will be able collect antivirals* on behalf of patients suffering from flu-like symptoms. Flu friends are neighbours, friends and relatives who can help you if you get ill. For example, they could collect medicines, food and other supplies for you, so that you don't have to leave home if you are ill.

If your child or family member is unwell with flu like symptoms such as a fever, shivering, aches or pains, cough, headache, blocked or runny nose, sore throat, watery diarrhoea, or cannot stop crying then please call for advice from NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or from your GP by phone. Please do not visit your GP, local hospital, clinic or any other health service facility, as you may spread the virus by doing that.

*Antiviral medication does not kill the virus but interferes with the way the virus multiplies. The drug does not cure flu, but may reduce the severity and duration of symptoms and may prevent complications. Antiviral drugs need to be given soon after symptoms begin to be of any benefit.


June 25, 2009