Swine flu in Epping Forest

Catch It Bin It Kill It poster

The government’s swine flu leaflet (download PDF here) dropped through my letter box this week, hot on the heels of news of the first (and I sincerely hope only) local case of swine flu.

I was surprised at how long the advice leaflet was. Sadly the very basic design means it isn’t a particularly user-friendly read. Given the importance of the information that the leaflet is meant to convey and the time and attention that goes into marketing and communications these days I expected something more arresting than slabs of text and some boxes.

This must be a consequence of the need to get it designed and distributed in double-quick time: printing 25 million leaflets is not something that can be done overnight and perhaps didn’t leave time for much creative input (other than the deeply unattractive image on the front page).

Swine flu advice number 0800 1 513 513

There is a comprehensive list of sources of advice on the Epping Forest District Council website here with links to everyone from our local NHS Primary Care Trust to the World Health Organisation. So far swine flu has not proved as devastating as was first feared but we are told it may yet spread much further. I am glad that the government and local emergency planning teams have prepared for far worse to happen – but I hope they never need to put their plans fully into practice.