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SWINE FLU

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No swine flu jab for healthy kids

Post  Guest on Thu 4 Mar - 23:09

Thursday March 04 2010

Healthy children in Northern Ireland will not be vaccinated for swine flu after the end of March, the Department of Health has announced.

There was only one new detection of the virus last week and the number of GP consultations has fallen again.

The formal vaccination programme for those at risk will end, however health workers or those who develop an underlying illness or become pregnant can still be vaccinated.

Chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride said the pandemic was circulating much less widely in the community but warned that it still posed a risk to those it infected.

"It is particularly important to note that the programme for otherwise healthy children will not be continued beyond the end of March, on the advice of JCVI (Joint Committee on Immunisation and Vaccination)," he said.

"I would strongly urge any parent who has not yet taken up the offer of vaccine for their child to do so by the 31 March."

There was a vaccine uptake rate of 86.5% for those aged under 65 in at risk groups and 74.9% for those over 65 in at risk groups, the department added.

Dr McBride said: "While swine flu is now circulating much less widely in the community, it should be remembered that the virus itself has not changed.

"This means that people are less likely to come in contact with the virus, however for those who do become infected, the virus poses just as much risk as it has done all along."

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SWINE FLU

Post  Guest on Thu 25 Mar - 23:01

The swine flu virus that has killed more than 80 people in Mexico may mutate into a "more dangerous" strain, the World Health Organisation has warned.


Surgical masks have been distributed among the public for protection

"It's quite possible for this virus to evolve... when viruses evolve, clearly they can become more dangerous to people," said Keiji Fukuda, of the global health watchdog.

Mr Fukuda also called for international vigilance as health experts wait to see whether the virus will turn into a worldwide pandemic.

Over 1,300 people are now thought to have contracted the virulent H1N1 swine influenza after it mutated into a form that spreads from human to human.

The Mayor of New York has confirmed that eight school children are suffering mild symptoms after becoming infected.

There have been at least 12 other confirmed cases in Texas, Ohio, California and Kansas.

The White House has declared a public health emergency but told the public "not to panic".

Sky US correspondent Greg Milam said: "It's important to realise that those affected have only had mild symptoms, and all have recovered or are recovering.

"But the authorities do believe that this outbreak will get worse."


Swine flu is a contagious respiratory disease that usually effects pigs, caused by the type A influenza viruses.


Elsewhere around the world, suspected cases have been reported in France, Spain, Israel, New Zealand and the UK.

In France, two people who had returned from Mexico with fevers are being monitored in regions near the port cities of Bordeaux and Marseille.

A 26-year-old Israeli man has also been admitted to hospital after returning from a trip to Mexico with flu-like symptoms.

In New Zealand, a group of school children have tested positive for influenza after returning from Mexico.

In the UK, two people have been admitted to a hospital in Scotland after returning from Mexico on April 21.

They are said to have mild flu-like symptoms but their condition is not causing concern.

Mexican City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said two more people have died of the virus, taking the death toll to 83.

All schools have been shut in Mexico City, the surrounding area and the central state of San Luis Potosi until May 6.

The WHO says it has a stockpile of the antiviral Tamiflu, which has proven effective against the virus, and is preparing a vaccine if needed.

The H1N1 strain of swine flu is usually only seen in pigs - but in humans can cause symptoms including fever and fatigue.

There is "zero evidence" that people are getting infected with the virus from exposure to pigmeat or pigs, the WHO said.

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Re: SWINE FLU

Post  Guest on Thu 25 Mar - 23:03

7:04pm UK, Sunday April 26, 2009

Two people have been admitted to a Scottish hospital after returning from Mexico with flu-like symptoms.

The public has been warned to look out for unusual flu cases

The Scottish government said the pair were undergoing precautionary assessments and had displayed mild flu-like symptoms.

Scotland's health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said the pair - who came to Scotland on April 21 - had not been in an area affected by recent outbreaks of swine influenza.

She said: "Their current condition is not causing concern."

The announcement came as the UK was on alert to look for unusual flu cases after a deadly outbreak.

More than 80 people have died of pneumonia in Mexico after contracting a flu-like virus and many others - including children in a New York school - have fallen ill in the US and Mexico.

Ms Sturgeon, who is also deputy First Minister of Scotland, said "19 or 20" people in Scotland who had come in contact with the two people now in hospital had been traced.

She stressed that the pair were not very ill but were in isolation at Monklands Hospital, Airdrie, Lanarkshire.

The World Health Organisation warned the outbreak of the respiratory disease had
"pandemic potential" and placed countries on alert to monitor the situation.

The UK Health Protection Agency said those with flu-like symptoms who have recently returned from the affected areas should stay at home to limit contact with others.

They are also advised to seek medical advice from a local health professional or NHS Direct.

But an HPA spokesman added: "The HPA and the NHS have systems in place, which will alert public health authorities of any unusual strain circulating in the UK."

Britons are not currently being advised to avoid travelling to affected areas of Mexico and the US.

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Swine Flu Vaccine Boost For Drugs Firm Glaxo

Post  Guest on Thu 29 Apr - 10:52

Swine Flu Vaccine Boost For Drugs Firm Glaxo
3:57am UK, Thursday April 29, 2010

James Jordan, Sky News Online

Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline revealed a further boost from the swine flu crisis today as it said H1N1 treatments helped first quarter sales surge 13%.

London-based firm is still looking to cut costs across its operations



The group said £698m in swine flu vaccine sales helped drive the lift in first quarter revenues to a better-than-expected £7.4bn.

Profits rose 16%, with currency movements stripped out, to £2.2bn in the first three months of the year.

But Glaxo only expects to see around another £200m in swine flu sales this year after governments scaled back orders as the threat of pandemic receded.

It has already signalled a tough year ahead as the swine flu benefits drop out and amid increasing pressure from cheaper generic competitors to its blockbuster drugs.

The group is offsetting this by slashing costs and confirmed today it was on track to make cumulative annual savings of £1.5bn by the end of the year, as part of efforts to trim £2.2bn by 2012.

Glaxo said in February that part of this would come from cuts in research and development, particularly neuroscience dealing with depression and pain.

It stressed at the time that job losses in the UK would be in the "hundreds not thousands", but there are fears of another 4,000 job cuts worldwide on top of previous headcount reductions.

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Re: SWINE FLU

Post  Guest on Thu 29 Apr - 10:53

7:04pm UK, Sunday April 26, 2009

Two people have been admitted to a Scottish hospital after returning from Mexico with flu-like symptoms.

The public has been warned to look out for unusual flu cases

The Scottish government said the pair were undergoing precautionary assessments and had displayed mild flu-like symptoms.

Scotland's health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said the pair - who came to Scotland on April 21 - had not been in an area affected by recent outbreaks of swine influenza.

She said: "Their current condition is not causing concern."

The announcement came as the UK was on alert to look for unusual flu cases after a deadly outbreak.

More than 80 people have died of pneumonia in Mexico after contracting a flu-like virus and many others - including children in a New York school - have fallen ill in the US and Mexico.

Ms Sturgeon, who is also deputy First Minister of Scotland, said "19 or 20" people in Scotland who had come in contact with the two people now in hospital had been traced.

She stressed that the pair were not very ill but were in isolation at Monklands Hospital, Airdrie, Lanarkshire.

The World Health Organisation warned the outbreak of the respiratory disease had
"pandemic potential" and placed countries on alert to monitor the situation.

The UK Health Protection Agency said those with flu-like symptoms who have recently returned from the affected areas should stay at home to limit contact with others.

They are also advised to seek medical advice from a local health professional or NHS Direct.

But an HPA spokesman added: "The HPA and the NHS have systems in place, which will alert public health authorities of any unusual strain circulating in the UK."

Britons are not currently being advised to avoid travelling to affected areas of Mexico and the US.

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Re: SWINE FLU

Post  Guest on Thu 29 Apr - 10:54

World battles swine flu as death toll rises



Governments and health officials around the world continued to take steps Tuesday against the outbreak of swine flu that has killed scores of people in Mexico and spread to the U.S., Europe and possibly Asia.


Mexican health officials suspect that the swine flu outbreak has caused more than 159 deaths and roughly 2,500 illnesses.

The World Health Organization says at least 105 cases have been confirmed worldwide, including 64 in the United States; 26 in Mexico; six in Canada; three in New Zealand; and two each in Spain, the United Kingdom and Israel. WHO has confirmed deaths only in Mexico, where seven people have died from swine flu.

In the United States, California, Indiana and Texas also were reporting additional cases not confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Meanwhile, Mexican authorities are focusing on a young boy being referred to as “patient zero” by his doctors -- 5-year-old Edgar Hernandez, who survived the earliest documented case of the swine flu outbreak.

His family lives in the village of La Gloria in the state of Veracruz, where a flu outbreak was reported on April 2.

Lab tests confirmed that he was the only patient in Veracruz to test positive for the swine flu virus; the others had contracted a common flu. Health officials had returned to Edgar’s sample only after cases of the new flu strain were spotted around the country. He has recovered from his symptoms.

The World Health Organization on Monday raised its alert level from three to four on its six-level scale.

The move means the UN agency has determined that the virus is capable of significant human-to-human transmission -- a major step toward a pandemic, but not necessarily inevitable, Dr. Keiji Fukuda said.

“In this age of global travel, where people move around in airplanes so quickly, there is no region to which this virus could not spread,” said Fukuda, assistant director-general of the WHO.

Governments around the world scrambled to prevent further outbreak.

U.S. President Barack Obama said the outbreak was a cause for concern, not for alarm. The government urged travelers to avoid non-essential travel to Mexico.

About 35,000 public venues in Mexico City were shut down or told to serve only take-out meals Tuesday, as officials try to contain the outbreak.

In addition to ordering restaurants to serve only take-out food, authorities ordered the closing of movie theaters, pool halls, theaters, gyms, sport centers and convention halls until May 6, said Juan Jose Garcia Ochoa, one of the city government’s top officials.

Armed police officers are also guarding hospitals in Mexico City while roads and schools in the city of 20 million people are deserted. Officials also have talked about shutting down the bus and subway systems.

Blue masks shield the faces of mothers and babies from a virus that doctors are still trying to understand, let alone bring under control.

“I’m pretty nervous of this whole virus thing,” Berta Hernandez said as she touched up her eyeliner inside a packed and humid subway car. She did not dare lift her surgical mask to put on lip gloss.

“I’m nervous of the people who aren’t wearing masks. Maybe they will suddenly sneeze or cough,” she said.

Some health experts fear the disease could become a pandemic, partly because it has killed young, healthy adults in Mexico.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued emergency authorization for the use of two of the most common anti-viral drugs, Tamiflu and Relenza. The authorization allows the distribution of the drugs by a broader range of health care workers and loosens age limits for their use. The median age of all the U.S. cases is 16 years.

In Mexico City, however, there is a shortage of such medication. And the government ran out of surgical masks after handing them out to one out of every five residents.

Panicked citizens continue to flood in night and day at hospitals, only to be turned away by armed guards.

“I was looking for a mask at my local pharmacy, but they sold out,” supermarket worker Rafael Martinez said as he rode the subway. “I know it’s a risk, but I can’t find one.’

Swine flu is a contagious respiratory disease that usually affects pigs. It is caused by a type-A influenza virus. The current strain is a new variation of an H1N1 virus, which is a mix of human and animal versions.

When the flu spreads person-to-person, instead of from animals to humans, it can continue to mutate, making it harder to treat or fight off because people have no natural immunity.

The virus spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes around another person. People can become infected by touching something with the flu virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes.

In 1968, a “Hong Kong” flu pandemic killed about 1 million people worldwide. And in 1918, a “Spanish” flu pandemic killed as many as 100 million people. Putting those figures into perspective about 36,000 people die from flu-related symptoms each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

(Source: CNN)

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Re: SWINE FLU

Post  Guest on Thu 29 Apr - 10:55

The World Health Organisation has said it is declaring a swine flu pandemic, raising its alert level to the maximum of six.

It does not mean the virus has become more deadly, just that its geographical spread is now global.

The move came as the number of infections climbed in the United States, Europe, Australia, South America and elsewhere.

It is the first global pandemic for 41 years. The virus first emerged in Mexico in April and has now spread to 74 countries with a reported 27,000 cases and 141 deaths.

Twenty-five new cases have been confirmed in the UK, bringing the total number to 822. There have been no deaths.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: "The localised cases of swine flu found in the UK have so far been generally mild in most people, but are proving to be severe in a small minority of cases.

"We are continuing to work to slow the spread of the disease and to put in place arrangements to ensure that the UK is well-placed to deal with this new infection."

In a statement to member countries, the WHO said it decided to raise the pandemic alert level from phase five to six.

The decision was made after the UN health agency held an emergency meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on swine flu with its experts.

Moving to phase six will trigger a large scale production of vaccines and prompt governments to devote more money towards efforts to contain the virus.

It will also raise questions about why the step was delayed for weeks as the virus continued to spread.

WHO chief Dr Margaret Chan quizzed eight countries with large swine flu outbreaks on Wednesday to see if a pandemic, or global epidemic, should be declared.

The WHO has urged countries not to close borders or restrict travel and trade.

It said: "At this early stage, the pandemic can be characterised globally as being moderate in severity. We remain in close dialogue with influenza vaccine manufacturers."

According to the WHO's own pandemic criteria, a global outbreak means a new flu virus is spreading in at least two world regions.

Sky's health correspondent Thomas Moore said any move to declare a pandemic did not mean the virus itself was growing in potency.

He explained: "This is a marker if you like of geographical spread. It's not an indication that the virus is becoming more severe."

GlaxoSmithKline is already working with a key ingredient of the swine flu vaccine to see how quickly doses can be produced.

And other major pharmaceuticals like Sanofi Pasteur have also been working on a vaccine after WHO gave them a "seed stock" of the virus last month.

However, drug giants say it could take up to six months before large amounts of a swine flu vaccine are available.

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Re: SWINE FLU

Post  Guest on Thu 29 Apr - 10:57

8:53pm UK, Friday July 10, 2009

A hospital patient from Essex has become the first Briton without underlying health problems to die after contracting swine flu.


Government's swine flu leaflet



The victim died at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Essex.

The patient's family has asked no details of their relative be released.

The trust said in a statement it "would like to extend their deepest sympathies to the family affected as they come to terms with their loss".

The number of people in the UK who are thought to have died after contracting swine flu has doubled in the past three days to 15 - with dozens more critically ill.

The UK now has the third highest number of confirmed cases of the virus in the world after the US and Mexico, where the outbreak began.

Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson said London and the West Midlands were approaching epidemic levels.

He said there were 335 people in hospital in England with swine flu, 43 in a critical condition.

However, Sir Liam admitted it was unknown how many people in the UK were suffering from the virus as many would be treating themselves at home.

It is unclear where or when the latest deaths linked to swine flu occurred. Of the 15, 13 were in England.

Justin McCracken, chief executive of the Health Protection Agency (HPC), said the organisation would not be releasing information about individual deaths.

He said it was a local decision in each case whether to release details of where and who the victims were.

Sir Liam said the latest data from 100 GP surgeries around England showed that about 27,000 people per week were being diagnosed as having a flu-like illness.

Of these, an estimated 8,000 will have swine flu.

The latest figures show there are 9,718 confirmed cases of swine flu in the UK - just behind Mexico, with 10,262 cases. The US currently has 33,902 confirmed cases.

Last week Health Secretary Andy Burnham said 100,000 new cases of swine flu could occur in the UK by the end of August.

It is expected to surge in the winter months when flu is more prevalent.

Figures show youngsters aged five to 14 are being particularly badly affected by swine flu, followed by one to four year olds.

Worldwide, there have been 94,512 cases of swine flu in 135 countries, with 429 deaths.

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Re: SWINE FLU

Post  Guest on Thu 29 Apr - 10:58

10:42pm UK, Monday July 13, 2009

A "perfectly healthy" six-year-old girl died of swine flu within hours of being taken to hospital after complaining of a sore throat, it has emerged.


Chloe Buckley died at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington



Chloe Buckley, from north west London, died on Thursday a day after her GP wrongly diagnosed her illness.

Sky reporter Victoria Gatenby said: "Chloe's parents took her to their GP on Wednesday with a sore throat.

"The GP diagnosed her with tonsillitis, sending her home without Tamiflu, which is the drug that combats swine flu."

The youngster's condition quickly deteriorated and she was taken to the accident and emergency unit at Hillingdon Hospital in Uxbridge.

On Thursday she was transferred to St Mary's Hospital in Paddington but despite doctors' efforts she died.

Chris Spencer, director of education and children's services for Hillingdon Council, said: "This is a little girl who until a few days ago in all our minds was a child that was perfectly healthy so everybody here is in a deep state of shock."

The Government's Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson said investigations are continuing into whether or not Chloe had underlying health problems.

Chloe was a pupil at St Catherine's School in West Drayton, north west London.

Headteacher Sara Benn said: "It is impossible to put into words the sorrow that the whole school feels in such tragic circumstances.









"Chloe was a bright and tenacious student with a keen interest in sports.

"She will be missed by her fellow pupils and her teachers at the school. Our thoughts are with her parents and family at this time."

Hillingdon Council has temporarily closed the school because of the "exceptional set of circumstances".

Bedfordshire GP Dr Michael Day is also among the latest UK swine flu victims - taking the number of British deaths to 17.

Dr Day died on Saturday in the Luton and Dunstable Hospital.

A swab test taken at the hospital confirmed him as being positive for the H1N1 Swine Flu virus.

The exact cause of death in this case is still unknown.



Dr Michael Day

Dr Paul Hassan, senior partner at Priory Gardens Health Centre, said: "This news has come as such a shock to us all and we are completely devastated."

The latest deaths come after the first British patient without underlying health problems died on Friday after contracting swine flu.

The patient, from Essex, died in Basildon.

Nearly 10,000 Britons have been confirmed with swine flu after it spread to the UK from Mexico.

However, hundreds of thousands more people in the UK are thought to have the virus.

The total number of cases in the country are now being estimated rather than counted individually.

The UK has the third highest case total in the world after Mexico, which has 10,262 cases, and the US, which has at least 33,902.

Sir Liam told Sky News he expects the virus will "move quickly" in the autumn and winter.

"The number of people treated will put pressure on the NHS but for those of us who are dealing with it, we will not be alarmed by the spread of the pandemic," he said.

The Government has ordered enough swine flu vaccine to cover the entire population, with the first doses arriving next month and half of all doses expected by the end of the year.

A list has been drawn up of people who will gain first access to Tamiflu, including health workers and patients with conditions like diabetes and asthma.

:: The NHS advises anyone who thinks they might have flu to check their symptoms on www.nhs.uk or call the swine flu information line on 0800 1 513 513.

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Re: SWINE FLU

Post  Guest on Thu 29 Apr - 11:00

Thank God my kids are on school holiday's now. It will get to the stage that everyone will have to wear masks to prevent the spread of this flu

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Re: SWINE FLU

Post  Guest on Thu 29 Apr - 11:09

This is getting worrying.

Sky News are reporting that there is a risk this vaccine will be rushed out as the pandemic is now starting to hit the economy with increasing numbers of people off work.

I have highlited in red the part which I find most concerning. Looks as though children are not as important as the economy.
Thank God my kids are on school holiday's now. It will get to the stage that everyone will have to wear masks to prevent the spread of this flu
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http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/safety-questions-over-swine-flu-jab-1751547.html

Thank God my kids are on school holiday's now. It will get to the stage that everyone will have to wear masks to prevent the spread of this flu

Safety questions over swine flu jab

Vaccine will be rushed out before results of health checks are known

By Jeremy Laurance, Health editor

Saturday, 18 July 2009



The first doses of swine flu vaccine will be given to the public before full data on its safety and effectiveness become available, doctors confirmed yesterday.

The aim is to provide maximum protection against the pandemic in the shortest possible time.
Related articles

* Leading article: Keep calm and carry on
* Why is the UK a swine flu hotspot?

But, unlike seasonal flu vaccine, the pandemic version will be spread over two doses in a higher quantity, and one brand is expected to contain a chemical additive to make it go further, potentially increasing the risk of side-effects.

Children, who are most vulnerable to swine flu and are likely to be among those first in line for the jab, may get the vaccine more than a month before trial results are received.

Adam Finn, professor of paediatrics at the University of Bristol and an expert on vaccination who will be testing the pandemic vaccine, said: "There will be a period where a risk judgement will have to be made. It will depend if there is an increase in the number of cases and deaths. Children are potent spreaders [of the virus] – they are now seen as the engine of the epidemic. We are dealing with information as it comes in – we could be dealing with a far worse epidemic, and we need to act sooner rather than later."

Yesterday it emerged that a baby aged under six months died at the Royal Free Hospital, London, last week and a 39-year-old mother who was reported to have given birth died at Whipps Cross Hospital, east London, on Monday. The Department for Children, Schools and Families said 1,000 schools had been affected by swine flu and some could be forced to stay shut after the summer holiday if the number of cases escalates.

The pressure to protect the population from the growing pandemic, and the short time available for production and testing of the vaccine since the H1N1 virus was identified in May, mean the licensing process is to be accelerated.

A previous vaccine against swine flu turned out to be worse than the disease. An outbreak in the US in 1976 infected 200 soldiers at a military camp in New Jersey, of whom 12 were hospitalised and one died. But before it was over 40 million people had been vaccinated, 25 of whom died and 500 of whom developed Guillain-Barre syndrome, an inflammation of the nervous system which can cause paralysis and be fatal.

Doctors said yesterday that today's vaccines are purer and cause fewer side-effects. Though the virus is mostly mild in its effects, it has claimed 29 lives in the UK and hospitalised 652 people in England. The NHS was ordered this week to plan for a worst-case scenario in which swine flu might cause 65,000 deaths over the coming winter, including several thousand deaths among children.

Discussions are still going on between the manufacturers, the European Medicines Evaluation Agency (EMEA), and the Department of Health over how much data will be required.

The Government has placed advance orders for up to 132 million doses of vaccine with two manufacturers, GlaxoSmithKline and Baxter. The manufacturers have tested and licensed in advance three "core" vaccines in preparation for a pandemic. These are vehicles into which the H1N1 pandemic strain of the virus is inserted.

A spokesman for the EMEA said the first samples of the fully functional pandemic vaccine were expected by the end of July and a decision on whether to approve them would be taken within five days. Trials involving 200 to 400 patients would be conducted, but the vaccine would be made available for use by the NHS before the results came in.

"What the manufacturers will be submitting will not have any clinical trial data. We expect the interim adult data from September and the first paediatric data from October onwards," he said.

Last night a spokesperson from the Department of Health defended the EMEA, saying : "The UK has one of the most successful immunisation programmes in the world.

"Appropriate trials to assess safety and the immune responses have been carried out on vaccines very similar to the swine flu vaccine. The vaccines have been shown to have a good safety profile. More than 40,000 doses of the vaccines which the swine flu vaccines are based on have been given without any safety concerns."

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Re: SWINE FLU

Post  Guest on Thu 29 Apr - 11:11

Advice for pregnant women now. Have also highlighted what could be an important piece of information for anybody wondering about whether or not to have the vaccination

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article6719356.ece

Swine flu: pregnant women told to stay home
Steven Swinford



PREGNANT women and parents with babies will be advised to avoid crowds and unnecessary journeys on public transport in an attempt to limit the effects of the swine flu virus on the most vulnerable.

The Department of Health will publish new guidelines on the National Health Service website today that emphasise the risk to pregnant women and young children.

The Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists are recommending changes in lifestyle, including staying indoors when practical. Expectant mothers should also limit the movements of their other children so they do not bring the virus home.

Pregnant women are advised to avoid crowds where possible: “If they normally travel on the Tube or on crowded trains in rush hour they might want to leave later or earlier,” Sue Macdonald from the Royal College of Midwives said. “This is about being sensible and being aware of the risks.”
Related Links

* Airlines will ban swine flu suspects

* Swine flu: How scared should we be?

* All your swine flu questions answered

The government will not advise women to delay pregnancy until the swine flu pandemic has passed, as is recommended by the National Childbirth Trust. The latter was accused of scaremongering by the Royal College of General Practitioners.

More than 700 people have been taken to hospital with the virus and, of the 29 who have died, four were young children and two were mothers who had recently given birth. It also emerged this weekend that:

- Hospitals face a potential crisis over the limited number of intensive-care beds. In the worst-case scenario, seriously ill patients could have to make way for swine flu victims.

- The manufacturers of the new swine flu vaccine are to be given legal indemnity amid concerns over any side effects. Regulators are due to fast-track its approval.

- Some patients, whatever their illness, face waits of up to 11 hours before getting a call back from weekend and evening GPs’ services. Calls are running at double the normal rate.

- Security guards are to protect NHS supplies of Tamiflu when the drug is handed out at temporary distribution centres, such as community buildings.

British holidaymakers suspected of suffering from swine flu are being prevented from boarding flights. Check-in staff at Heathrow and other main British airports are vetting passengers for possible infection and turning away those suspected of being having the disease.

Some countries, including Thailand, Egypt, Turkey and China, have installed thermal body scanners to identify passengers with fever.

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic confirmed this weekend that its staff were not allowing suspected sufferers to travel. A BA spokesman said some passengers had been turned away at check-in because they had flu symptoms.

Passengers who are suffering from swine flu but are not spotted at check-in may find themselves quarantined on their arrival overseas. A group of 52 British children and teachers is being held in quarantine in a hotel in China after four pupils were diagnosed with swine flu on arrival in the country on Tuesday and sent to hospital. The trip was organised by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and involves schoolchildren from around the country.

Among pupils affected are some from Cheltenham ladies college, Gloucestershire. “The Chinese authorities are taking a very cautious approach to the flu and have quarantined the group and hospitalised some eight children who are showing symptoms,” the headmistress, Vicky Tuck, said.

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Re: SWINE FLU

Post  Guest on Thu 29 Apr - 11:15

About time!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1208154/Swine-flu-victims-health-problems-NOT-Tamifu-WHO-advice-contradicts-British-policy.html

Healthy' swine flu sufferers should NOT take Tamiflu: World Health Organisation rejects British advice

By Jenny Hope
Last updated at 10:19 PM on 21st August 2009

* Comments (9)
* Add to My Stories

Healthy people with swine flu should not be given the powerful drug Tamiflu, the World Health Organisation said yesterday.

The advice from a panel of international experts appears to directly contradict Government policy.

Hundreds of thousands of healthy Britons have already been prescribed the antiviral to contain the spread of the disease.
Tamiflu

Contradictory advice: People who have swine flu symptoms but have no underlying health problems should not take Tamiflu, the WHO has said

Those with underlying health conditions have also been given the drug and several studies have warned of possible side-effects

However, last night the Department of Health stood by its 'safety-first approach' and denied it conflicted with the organisation's advice.

According to the new WHO guidelines: 'Healthy patients with uncomplicated illness need not be treated with antivirals.'

The experts also recommend that 'otherwise healthy children' older than five with the illness should not be given Tamiflu unless they fail to recover or their condition worsens.

But all youngsters under five should be given antivirals as they are at 'increased risk of more severe illness'.

The drugs should also be given quickly to patients in a serious condition or who appear to be worsening to cut the risk of pneumonia.

Those in at-risk groups - such as pregnant women or people with underlying medical conditions like diabetes - should also receive the treatment promptly.
Andrew Castle and his daughter Georgina

Critic: GMTV host Andrew Castle confronted Health Secretary Andy Burnham on live television after his asthma sufferer daughter Georgina, 16, had a respiratory collapse after taking Tamiflu

The latest advice, published on the WHO website, said most patients were suffering typical flu symptoms and would recover within a week.

More than 500,000 packs of Tamiflu were given to NHS patients in the first two weeks of the pandemic.

Even as the number of new cases fell last week, 45,986 courses of antivirals were handed out.

But there have been fears that the mass use of Tamiflu will encourage the virus to become resistant to it.

It emerged this week that ministers ignored a warning from their own advisers that handing out Tamiflu widely could do more harm than

good, especially as many patients suffer only mild symptoms. There have been 418 reports of side-effects, including sickness, nightmares and insomnia in children. Two deaths have been associated with Tamiflu.

Patients on the bloodthinning medication warfarin have also been warned that taking Tamiflu at the same time increases their risk of suffering a stroke.

A team from Oxford University said this month that children with mild swine flu symptoms should not be given the antiviral and urged a policy rethink.


More...

* The swine flu sickies: Surprise, surprise... hotline gets more calls on Monday than any other time of the week

Yesterday, the family of Godfrey Armstrong, 55, from Preston, who died two weeks after getting swine flu despite having no underlying health conditions, accused health chiefs of hiding the severity of the illness.

His brother Rodney, 53, who lives in Ireland, said: 'They are trying to play it down so they don't frighten people, but they are being very deceitful about it.'

According to the WHO, people under 50 are more at risk of becoming seriously ill, with 40 per cent of severe cases worldwide occurring in previously healthy children and adults.

Doctors should be alert for 'very rapid' signs of deterioration, including shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, chest pain and high fever that lasts longer than three days.
Swine flu death wales

In children, danger signs include fast or difficult breathing, lack of alertness, difficulty in waking up and little wish to play.

Latest figures showed a continuing fall in the number of new cases of swine flu, down to 11,000 in England last week compared to 25,000 the previous week.

A spokesman for the Department of Health denied the WHO advice conflicted with its policy.

He said: 'A safety-first approach of offering antivirals, when required, to everyone is a sensible and responsible way forward.

The WHO recommendations are, in fact, in line with UK policy.

'We have consistently said that many people only get mild symptoms, and they may find bed rest and over-the-counter flu remedies work for them.

'People with underlying health conditions, pregnant women and parents with children under one should speak to their GP if they have symptoms.'

* Swine flu has spread to turkeys, officials in Chile reported. The outbreak at two farms is the first time the virus has been found outside humans and pigs.

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Re: SWINE FLU

Post  Badboy on Thu 3 Nov - 18:33

IT SAID ON THE FRONT PAGE OF A NEWSPAPER TODAY THAT THEY COULD BE PROBLEMS WITH VIRULENT STRAINS OF FLU THIS WINTER

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Re: SWINE FLU

Post  Badboy on Thu 26 Jan - 19:28

IN SOUTHERN CHINA, SEVERAL PEOPLE HAVE DIED OF BIRD FLU IN THE LAST MONTHS

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Re: SWINE FLU

Post  Badboy on Fri 21 Sep - 21:44

THERE ARE FEARS OF NEW MUTANT FORMS OF SWINE FLU IN PIGS ON US FARMS COULD SPREAD.

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Re: SWINE FLU

Post  Badboy on Sat 6 Apr - 20:52

H9N7,I THINK ITS CALLED HAS KILLED ABOUT 9 IN THE SHANGHAI AREA,CHINESE HAVE PREPARED SPECIAL HOSPITALS FOR A PANDEMIC.

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Re: SWINE FLU

Post  joyce1938 on Sun 7 Apr - 10:50

Is this yet another scare ? it turned out last time after all the scaremongering about bird flu,it really was only people that infact lived with the birds that had it ,i mean in same house etc or shack whichever ,di they not find that its transmission wasnt between people to people? hi all and fuzeta how are you ?joyce

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Re: SWINE FLU

Post  Badboy on Tue 7 May - 0:07

120 people have died,methinks

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Re: SWINE FLU

Post  Badboy on Sun 16 Nov - 23:57

BIRD FLU HAS BEEN FOUND IN A YORKSHIRE FARM AS WELL AS THE NETHERLANDS.

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Re: SWINE FLU

Post  Badboy on Fri 27 Mar - 20:30

CASES OF A POTENTIAL PANDEMIC FLU(H7N9??) HAS BEEN KILLING PEOPLE IN CHINA,A FEW HUNDRED DEATHS SO FAR.
HOPE IT DOESN'T SPREAD.

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Re: SWINE FLU

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