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swine flu advice from CHQ


Brown Owl, Guide Guider and Mentor
just received an e-mail with the following from commissioner

i know a lot of people have been asking CHQ policy on this so thought it might be useful

Managing the risk of Swine Flu on camp or holiday

Over the next few weeks many leaders will be taking girls away on camps and holidays. As the swine flu pandemic spreads these guidance notes have been prepared to help group leaders to manage the risks and adopt best practice whilst away with the girls. For the latest information please refer to the websites NHS Choices Homepage - Your health, your choices and Website of the UK government : Directgov
which are updated regularly

Before the camp/holiday

· Ask everyone, if at all possible to bring their own supply of tissues
· Ensure that the first aider has extra tissue supplies
· Provide antibacterial soap for hand washing
· Take extra wipes and cleaning products for frequent daily cleaning of surfaces
· Ensure that there is adequate provision for easy disposal of tissues in bags that can be sealed and avoid double handling
· Encourage the use of “hand gel” for times when hand washing is not possible; such as on a journey, before meals etc
· Ensure that the First Aider has the NHS number of all the girls under 18 clearly stated on the Health Form and that adults have their NHS number with them
· Consider what arrangements you would be able to make if a girl or adult needed to be isolated during the camp/holiday –see below
· Immediately prior to your camp/holiday keep up to date with the latest help and advice available through radio, TV and the internet–particularly for the area where you are staying.
Good hygiene is the single most effective way to slow the spread of diseases such as swine flu
By encouraging everyone on the camp/holiday to take a few simple steps you can help to reduce the risk of getting swine flu and limit the spread of the virus. The new swine flu virus is highly contagious and is spreading from person to person. If someone coughs or sneezes and they do not use a tissue, those droplets can spread about one metre (3ft). Or, if someone coughs or sneezes into their hand, those droplets and the virus are then easily transferred to surfaces that the person touches, such as door handles, hand rails, hard surfaces. The flu virus can live on a hard surface for up to 24 hours, and a soft surface for around 20 minutes.
Leaders should;
· Ensure that everyone washes their hands regularly with soap and water
· cover mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, using a clean tissue
· throw the tissue away quickly and carefully
· clean hard surfaces (like door handles and remote controls) frequently during the day with a normal cleaning product

The importance of hand washing and disposing of rubbish properly cannot be stressed enough. With younger girls a game or activity may be a good way to reinforce this message.

What is the incubation period for swine flu?
According to the Health Protection Agency, the incubation period for swine flu (time between infection and appearance of symptoms) can be up to seven days, but is most likely to be between two and five days. If a girl is feeling unwell, check the G/H form, which has sections requesting information about the girl’s general health and if she has had contact with any infectious illnesses within the last month.
When are people most infectious?
People are most infectious to others soon after they develop symptoms, although they continue to spread the virus (for example, in coughs and sneezes) for up to five days (seven days in children). People become less infectious as their symptoms subside, and once their symptoms are gone, they are no longer considered infectious to others.
Swine Flu symptoms can include:
· fever
· cough
· headache
· weakness and fatigue
· aching muscles and joints
· sore throat
· runny nose
As with any sort of influenza, how bad and how long the symptoms last will depend on treatment and the patient’s individual circumstances.
Most cases reported in the UK have been relatively mild, with those affected starting to recover within a week.


If the First Aider suspects that a girl or adult may have swine flu then they should be isolated and contact with people restricted whilst medical advice is sought. Once medical advice has been received it is good practice to contact the girl’s parents or carer to consult with them regarding the best course of action.

Leaders should consider taking an extra tent /camp bed/air-bed to facilitate isolation as during this camping /holiday season as it is more likely to be needed than usual. The Going Away with Series (Brownies, Guides, Senior Section) set out some useful guidelines for your First Aid area. This series also contains some useful and comprehensive checklists for health and first aid before, on arrival, during and after the event.

When you send your A/A or A/P form to home/host camp/holiday Adviser, 6 weeks before your event, she will send details of local doctor and emergency services. (If you have used an A/S form you will have to ask the site owner.) These details must be clearly displayed and accessible to all (perhaps on a card in the first aid area, on a notice board and in the first aid file).

Who is a risk?
Some groups of people are more at risk of serious illness if they catch swine flu. It is vital that people in these higher risk groups get anti-viral drugs and start taking them as soon as possible – within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.
Health authorities are still learning about the swine flu virus, but the following people are known to be at higher risk:
· pregnant women
· people aged 65 years and older
· young children under five years old
Also people with other chronic illnesses such as heart, lung diseases Website of the UK government : Directgov

Should we avoid contact with people suspected of having swine flu?
The vast majority of people should go about their normal activities, including going to school or work. This includes children who attend a school with a confirmed case of swine flu.

Useful Phone numbers:

England and Wales NHS Direct 0845 4647

Scotland: NHS24 08454 242424

Northern Ireland 0800 0514142

Hilary Chittock
Head of Membership Support Services
27th July 2009


pre-warranted GiC
Staff member
yep i' receieved this in the hundreds whilst on hols......i can't find MY NHS number let alone asking the girls.....but some decent advice at last.