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Swine flu leaflets sent to UK homes

All UK households are to be sent leaflets about swine flu as concerns grow over the spread of the virus.

Leaflets containing information about the virus and advice on "preventative messages" will be issued next week, the Department of Health (DH) confirmed.

Current stockpiles of surgical face masks are also being "urgently increased", the DH said.

With health officials bracing themselves for more suspected cases, additional masks will be given to doctors and nurses working with infected patients.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said the leaflets, which will give vital information about the outbreak and measures to prevent the virus spreading, will be sent out next week.

She said the DH is also in discussions with a number of manufacturers about providing additional face masks, although no further details were given.

"Although we are aware that face masks are being given out to the public in Mexico, the available scientific evidence does not support the general wearing of face masks by those who are not ill whilst going about their normal activities," she added.

Dr Maureen Baker, the honorary secretary of the Royal College of GPs, said flu victims should be reassured by their family doctor that even in the event that they catch swine flu, they can expect to recover within a week.

Copyright © Press Association 2009