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Swine flu leaflet, United Kingdom, 2009

Information about the H1N1 strain of influenza virus is in this leaflet. The virus is commonly known as swine flu and copies of this leaflet were delivered to all UK households. It was part of the UK government’s public health awareness campaign that began in May 2009. It educated the public about what to do if they became ill. It also explained how to avoid spreading the disease. Swine flu is a respiratory disease with symptoms similar to standard flu. It shares elements of a disease seen in pigs and is spread through sneezing or coughing. It can be fatal in extreme cases. The government stockpiled enough antiviral drugs for 33 million people to avoid a pandemic – approximately half the population of Great Britain. The measure may seem overly cautious. However, over 40% of the worldwide population were infected and over 50 million people died during the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic.

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Glossary: leaflet

Use for small printed works consisting of one sheet folded and not stitched or bound. For larger printed works, but generally of fewer than 80 pages, often with paper covers, use "pamphlets."

Glossary: influenza

A highly contagious viral infection that affects the respiratory system. Common symptoms of the disease are chills and fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness and general discomfort. In more serious cases, influenza may cause pneumonia, which can be fatal.

Glossary: public health advertising

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