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The return of Swine flu

‘Swine flu’, or the H1N1 virus, has come back with full force this year.

But, although the volume of cases is large, there does not seem to be the same hysteria surrounding the illness. In part, this is because we are prepared this time around. Not only is the vaccination available but the medical profession also knows what it is dealing with.

As a population, some of us became immune to the virus either through vaccination or by contracting it previously. We also got used to some good health habits such as the use of disposable tissues, antiseptic wipes and gels. Pharmacists and doctors recommend the continuation of such practices.

The main difference between ‘ ordinary’ seasonal flu and ‘ swine flu’ is the prevalence of vomiting and diarrhoea. There is a higher incidence of these symptoms in those who have contracted the H1N1 strain of the virus. Generally, one or the other occurs at the beginning of the illness. The ordinary seasonal flu vaccine now offers protection against the H1N1 strain of the virus.