Five ways to safeguard against swine fever.

1. Avoid close contact with people who appear unwell and who have fever and cough.

2. Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue when possible and disposing of it promptly.

3. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water to reduce the spread of the virus from your hands to face or to other people, especially after using public transport.

4. Clean hard surfaces like door handles frequently using a normal cleaning product.

5. Make sure children and other members of your household follow this advice.

You cannot catch influenza from eating pork products. Under EU rules pork meat or live pigs cannot be imported from Mexico and there have been no cases of this type of swine flu in pigs in Europe.

UK guidance is that anyone with flu-like symptoms who might have been in contact with the virus – such as those living or travelling in the affected areas of Mexico – should seek medical advice.

But patients are being asked not to go into GP surgeries in order to minimise the risk of spreading the disease to others. Instead, they should stay at home and call their healthcare provider for advice and keep up with the latest news on swine fever.