Dr Jewell said that whilst the numbers of reported cases have reduced in the last few weeks, it is too early to assume the risk of infection is over.
Dr Jewell said:
“It is encouraging that reported cases of swine flu have started to decrease. However, I would urge everyone to still take precautions to minimise the risk of their spreading and contracting the virus.
“We are now in the traditional winter flu season and infections are likely to continue for the next few months.
“Over the Christmas break, many of us will be spending more time than usual visiting family and friends and attending work parties and special functions. It is at times like this that it is easy for all strains of the flu virus to spread.
“If you, or a person you look after, begin to display flu-like symptoms the easiest thing to do is to call the Swine Flu Information Line on 0800 1 513 513 (a freephone number) for advice. Alternatively you can look at the NHS Direct Wales website.
“Most people with swine flu will recover after a few days at home. Antivirals are available for individuals who are at particular risk from swine flu, or who become very ill. If symptoms get worse you should call your GP.
“During the last couple of months, we have been vaccinating those people most at risk from the effects of swine flu. Vaccination offers the best protection against swine flu and in the New Year, we will announce details for vaccinating children aged from six months up to five years of age against swine flu. Evidence shows that young children are currently suffering the greatest overall impact from the disease.”
Dr Jewell is also reminding people not to dial 999 or visit their local A&E department unless it’s an emergency. The festive season can put frontline NHS staff under added pressure and its important to remember that there alternatives available.
Dr Jewell said:
“In the first instance, you should call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or visit the NHS Direct Wales website, to obtain information and advice. If you feel unwell and need medical advice or treatment then contact your GP or GP out-of-hours service.
“Also, simply being prepared can often prevent people from being in a situation where they might need to visit A&E. For example, if you are on prescription medication, then make sure you have enough to see you through the Christmas period so you don’t run out.
"By doing this we can help to ease the pressure on our emergency services and allow them to help the people who really need it.
"I understand that the Christmas period can be a stressful time for some and there is help available to those who need it, even on Christmas Day. For example, the Welsh Assembly Government funds a number of helplines such as a domestic abuse helpline and a substance misuse helpline."
18 December 2009