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Doctors fielding increasing number of swine flu queries

29 April 2009

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Health chiefs have reassured the public that not everyone suffering flu-like symptoms will be infected with swine flu.

The message came after NHS Direct received more than 1,300 swine flu-related calls on Monday following developments in the story.

However, Wiltshire PCT confirmed that seven people from the county were being tested for the disease at a Health Protection Agency facility in Bristol after returning from a trip to Mexico.

Reacting to the developments, joint director of public health for Wiltshire Maggie Rae said that the authorities “fully expected” members of the public concerned about symptoms to get in touch with their GP or NHS Direct with concerns, but not everyone would require further testing.

Dr Rae added: “Like elsewhere in the UK, there are a small number of Wiltshire residents who have recently returned from Mexico and who have contacted their GP or NHS Direct with concerns about possible flu-like symptoms.

“This is to be expected, and in the coming days and weeks we would fully expect that other members of the public will contact their GP or NHS Direct seeking advice.”

Dr Maureen Baker, the honorary secretary of the Royal College of GPs, said flu victims should be reassured by their family doctor that even in the event that they catch swine flu, they can expect to recover within a week.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

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Have you seen an increase in worried patients? Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

“We have not had any problems at all. Any enquiries we pass on the relevant phone numbers. We have seen no panic” – Liz Watson, Hertfordshire

“The phone started ringing at 8.00am on Monday with patients wanting to come in for a jab! Fortunately things have calmed to a steady flow of calls and the panic seems to have temporarily subsided” – Name and address withheld