Swine flu alert prompts vaccination call
Medical experts are encouraging people to get a seasonal flu vaccine, following cases of swine flu being reported across the country.
In Dunstable, parents have been warned to stay alert after a child was diagnosed with swine flu.
And in Scotland, NHS Lanarkshire bosses have admitted that they expect to see cases of swine flu in the area in the coming weeks after it was revealed that two patients were being treated in Wishaw General for the virus.
Meanwhile, the virus has claimed more than 50 lives in Russia and is spreading across Eastern Europe.
Dr Femi Oshin has urged locals to seek out the conventional flu vaccine if they have not already done so.
The doctor said: “H1N1, otherwise known as Swine Flu is reported to be the main flu virus circulating in the community.
“The vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and is available free to pregnant women, as well as over-65s, healthy children between two and four years of age.”
Public Health England has also recommended vaccination, but played down the risk to the general public. In an article published by Richard Pebody, of Public Health England, the government body reassures readers that swine flu is now considered a seasonal strain of flu.
Most people recover within a week, even without special treatment.
However, some people are at a higher risk of complications and are recommended to have the seasonal flu jab. The 2015-16 seasonal flu jab includes protection against three types of flu virus, including H1N1pdm09.
The vaccine is also available children at the P1 and P2 stage and healthcare workers.
Patients are urged to contact their GPs for the jab.
Swine flu is the popular name for influenza (flu) caused by a relatively new strain of influenza virus A/H1N1pdm09, and was responsible for the flu pandemic in 2009-10 which killed 360 people in the UK alone. Also known as Mexican flu, it was first identified in Mexico in April 2009. The virus closely resembled known influenza viruses that could cause illness in pigs.