The Royal Pharmaceutical Society today responded to concerns about the human swine flu virus H1N1 and stressed the vital role pharmacists play in public health.
The Society’s Director of Policy and Communications David Pruce said:
'At present, we are keeping a watching brief on the situation. Should the need arise, pharmacists will receive further information and guidance as part of the Department of Health’s strategy to deal with an influenza pandemic.
Community pharmacists have always played a key role in public health. As trusted health professionals, they are ideally placed to provide straightforward, high quality information and advice to worried patients.
Testing has shown that the virus can be treated with antivirals, and pharmacists should reiterate that it is good practice to follow respiratory and hand hygiene advice such as:
Covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue when possible.
Disposing of dirty tissues promptly and carefully.
Maintaining good basic hygiene, for example washing hands frequently with soap and water to reduce the spread of the virus from your hands to face or to other people.
Cleaning hard surfaces (eg. door handles) frequently using a normal cleaning product.
Making sure children follow this advice.
'Patients who have recently travelled to affected areas should be advised to consult a doctor immediately if they show signs of flu-like symptoms.'
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Society Responds to Concerns Over Human Swine Flu
Pharmacists Play a Vital Role in Public Health