Swine Flu hasn't gone away
Wednesday 3rd November
During the summer you’d have been forgiven for thinking it was only a matter of time before we all succumbed to the dreaded swine flu, or H1N1 to give it its proper title. The news media was full of it and every day brought terrifying statistics about how many new cases had been recorded.
Then, as if by magic, it all went away and the media went back to talking about X Factor and MPs’ expenses. Except it didn’t go away. All that happened was the amount of recorded cases slowed and, as a result, the media’s interest waned.
Now, with winter almost upon us, cases of H1N1 will increase with a vengeance as more people spend time indoors with the heating on and with poor ventilation – the perfect breeding ground for the disease.
Thankfully, for most of us, catching swine flu will lead to fairly mild symptoms ranging from aching limbs to a sore throat and headaches. However, for some of the population – young children, pregnant women and those with pre-existing respiratory difficulties – swine flu can have devastating and sometimes fatal consequences.
Interestingly those traditionally at most risk from seasonal flu, older people, do not seem to suffer as badly from H1N1. There are various theories for this, one of them being that they might have some sort of immunity from the last big influenza outbreaks of the 1950s and ‘60s.
If you think you might have swine flu please don’t go to your GP, just contact your local surgery by ‘phone and they will talk you through the next steps, which usually involves a telephone consultation.
Here at Spire Bristol we’re educating staff about what they can do to stop the spread of swine flu, plus we’re offering them the normal flu jabs and advising vulnerable staff, including those who are pregnant or have asthma, to go to their GPs to get the H1N1 vaccine.
For more information about swine flu go to www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu