Jan 26 2011 Harrow Observer
HARROW and Brent hospitals have treated as many as 18 patients for swine flu in the past two months.
Since mid-November, North West London Hospitals NHS Trust, which looks after Northwick Park Hospital and Central Middlesex Hospital, has seen 32 suspected cases of swine flu, with 18 of them confirmed as being the H1N1 virus that hit the headlines last year.
Fiona Coogan, director of infection control and prevention at the trust, said hospitals were fully prepared to deal with the increase in flu patients.
She said: "We have detailed plans in place to ensure we are able to cope, should the need arise, with extra demand for our services as a result of increases in the number of people becoming ill with flu and flu-like illnesses.
"For most people, flu is usually a mild illness so they do not need to come into hospital or A&E. The best thing they can do is stay at home, rest, drink plenty of fluids and take the over-the-counter remedies to relieve the symptoms.
"However, flu can be very serious for some, including pregnant women, the very young and old, and people with a long-term health condition, such as severe asthma. Their GP can arrange to give them a flu vaccine, which is the best defence against the virus."