Monday 26 February 2018

Bill Linnane: Children dying of the flu is wake-up call we all need to stop being blasé and get jab

Notebook

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar gets his flu vaccine from clinical nurse manager Brid Ryan O’Malley. Photo: Mark Stedman
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar gets his flu vaccine from clinical nurse manager Brid Ryan O’Malley. Photo: Mark Stedman

Bill Linnane

There are many pleasant occurrences at the changing of the seasons - shorter days mean the awkward among us breathe a sigh of relief as they slump into social hibernation - but some things are less welcome: the mass migration of giant spiders into our homes, or having to pretend you care about the Budget beyond diesel and pints. But the least welcome seasonal occurrence of all has to be the return of the norovirus - better known as the winter vomiting bug.

I don't remember this bug being around when I was a child. I don't recall the horror of when it takes hold of a family, spreading from person to person like wildfire, forcing violently unwell parents to chase nauseous toddlers about the house with a basin, as if Caligula directed an episode of 'It's a Knockout'.

I can remember measles and mumps, even the odd demonic possession, but not this.

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