While medically-wise we’re nowhere near the state in which we were in during the Spanish flu which killed between 50 and 100 million people in just two years, an uncontrolled pandemic could easily wipe out a large portion of the population. And with the scarlet fever epidemic that’s been running rampant, UK is concerned over H1N1 threat.
The threat started in February, as more and more children have been plagued by the virus and concerned parents fear that a country-wide outbreak is waiting to happen. Multiple schools in the Midlands, Essex and Kent, as well as in other southwest areas, have reported cases. A one year old is also among the infected.
Symptoms for the debilitating swine flu strain include pain in the joints and aching muscles, fever of the sudden variety, tiredness and general fatigue. PHE, or Public Health England has been getting a concerning amount of reports regarding kids suffering from the aforementioned symptoms.
Of course, they wrote a letter to public health directors in order to tell them to keep their children at home if they seem to experiencing any of the symptoms. Fortunately, the H1N1 swine flu strain that is circulating isn’t yet a pandemic flu, so it should be treated like any other circulating stain.
But if children keep coming in at school while manifesting the symptoms, they could easily spread it around and turn it into just that – a pandemic. The authorities are worried about this, as the conflicting schedules of parents and a tendency not to get flu shots could make things a lot worse.
For this, they wanted to bring into light the devastating numbers of the previous H1N1 pandemic in 2009, which started in Mexico and ended up killing somewhere around 300,000 people worldwide. The death tolls were the highest in Latino countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico.
According to Dr. Richard Pebody, PHE head of flu surveillance,
Virus surveillance from the UK and elsewhere in Europe shows the strain A(H1N1)pdm09 is now the main seasonal flu virus and is currently well-matched to the vaccine strain at this stage. We will continue to closely monitor the epidemiological and virological situation as the flu season continues.
Previous flu seasons dominated by A(H1N1)pdm09 suggest this strain particularly affects children, pregnant women, and adults with long term conditions like chronic heart disease, liver disease, neurological disease and respiratory disease in particular.
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