Swine flu: arrangements for flu friends and antiviral collection over the festive period You are here: Home » News Detail
22nd December 2009
Don't get stuck with flu this Christmas is the message from NHS Northamptonshire today.
Like most things, arrangements for picking up antivirals over the festive period will be slightly different and the Primary Care Trust does not want people to be caught unawares.
Opening times for the 22 Northamptonshire pharmacies which can dispense antivirals for people with suspected swine flu will vary over the holiday period from today (December 22) to January 3 inclusive and, as it is important that people start taking the medicine as soon as it is available, those with suspected flu and their flu friends (people picking up medication for them, etc) should make sure they are aware of these.
Some pharmacies will open on Christmas and New Year's Days but opening hours will be limited.
Although cases of flu are on a downward trend nationally at present, people are still catching the virus and so need to prepare themselves to deal with it. Most importantly, they need to identify flu friends who can pick up medication and other supplies for them if they get flu, so they don't have to do it themselves and risk spreading the virus.
NHS Northamptonshire normally does have a service where people who really do not have flu friends can call on us to collect and deliver antivirals for them. However, this volunteer service will be running on a limited basis over the holiday period and not available on bank holidays and weekends. The national flu line will have details of how to contact this service over the holiday period.
Mark Driver, Winter and Pandemic Flu Director, said: "Let's hope everyone has a happy, healthy Christmas. Unfortunately some will get flu and it is about making sure they are able to cope with it.
"We have seen that this is a mild illness for most people and can be dealt with by ensuring people have over the counter flu remedies and a thermometer in their home medicine cabinets. Self-medication, plenty of fluids and bed rest will see most people through.
"However some people will experience worse symptoms and want some help. They should follow national guidance, but be aware that if they are prescribed antivirals they need to know which pharmacies are open and when, so a flu friend can pick them up as soon as possible. There will be pharmacies open every day - even on Christmas and New Year Days - but opening times will be limited."