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H1N1 Influenza (swine flu) information for patients and visitors

The latest information on the number of confirmed cases of H1N1 Influenza 09 (or Human Swine Flu) in Victoria and the status of the Australian Government's pandemic alert are available on the Department of Human Services' Human Swine Flu webpage.

What are the symptoms of H1N1 Influenza 09 (swine flu)?

The symptoms are similar to a regular flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhoea and vomiting.

What should I do if I have flu-like symptoms?

If you are suffering from mild flu-like symptoms, please call your GP. Alert clinic staff when you arrive that you have such symptoms.

If you are unable to visit your general practitioner or have been directed by your GP to the Austin Hospital, there are two options:

  • Patients with mild to moderate symptoms should attend the Banyule Community Health Centre flu clinic (please see the attachment below for information and directions to the clinic).
  • Patients with severe symptoms such as breathing difficulties or other associated complications (e.g. pregnancy, diabetes or airways disease) should be seen at Austin Hospital.

You will be assessed by a triage nurse at Austin Hospital and may be directed to the Banyule Community Health Centre Flu Clinic if your symptoms are mild.

What should I do if I feel unwell and I'm a student, or I want to visit someone in hospital?

During the swine flu emergency:

If you are a visitor or student and have symptoms suggesting flu or gastroenteritis you are asked not to enter the hospital unless:
1) you have fully recoverd from flu symptoms* and 7 days have passed since the onset of symptoms
and
2) you are fully recoverd from diarrhoea, and have had no diarrhoea for at least 48 hours.

You may of course speak with your relative by telephone. If you feel there are exceptional cirumstances, please make contact with Infection Control on 9496 5801 to discuss your situation.

* flu symptoms: two or more of: aches and pains, cough, fever, chills, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath

How should I protect myself?

Regular hand washing with soap and water, covering the nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing and staying at home if you feel sick will all reduce the chance that you will get the flu or pass it on to others.

I have been tested for H1N1 Influenza at the Austin Hospital. When should I expect my result?

People who have been tested for H1N1 Influenza will be contacted by Austin Health’s Infectious Diseases department by phone regardless of whether the result is positive or negative. Please leave clear telephone contact details with the Emergency Department when you are tested and keep your phone on until you are contacted.

Those whose test results are positive will be contacted 24 hours a day as soon as the results are available.

Those with a negative result will be contacted as soon as possible within business hours.

For more information:

For expert health information and advice, call the Swine Influenza Hotline on 180 2007 or Nurse-on-Call on 1300 60 60 24 (freecall 24/7).