Friday, October 16, 2009

Where to get Swine Flu information

The headline of the Daily Express today screams out that two young pregnant women have died of Swine Flu. Anyone who sees it, especially if they're pregnant, is bound to be worried by it.

I live in a house with 3 risk groups in it out of 3 people - an asthmatic (albeit one who's over 55 so he has less chance of catching it), a child and a person whose immune system can be best described as the word that rhymes with Carter Rucked. We certainly have reason to be concerned. When I spoke to my doctor about it yesterday, she warned me not to go anywhere near anyone with flu like symptoms. Well, my husband works in a building with 1800 other people and my daughter goes to school and we all know that schools are torrid breeding places for germs. Funnily enough, I'm not climbing the walls with anxiety as I maybe would have been in my younger day but it is a bit of a worry.

The last place I would ever look for advice on Swine Flu is any tabloid newspaper and I would really prefer it if they'd tone down their headlines a bit. The running Swine Flu death total that Sky News was running during the first big wave earlier this Summer was pretty grim and can only have served to heighten panic. Sensationalising in order to make money out of people's fears is pretty low. If I want accurate, up to date information, I go to the Health Protection Agency's Swine Flu page or the NHS's Important Information about Swine Flu page.

For information on Swine Flu and pregnancy, there's a dedicated NHS page. I know that some people have a healthy scepticism about NHS advice, but, trust me, it's much better than anything you'll ever find in a tabloid.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

But the government have been useless on the whole swine flu outbreak.

The vaccine should have been quicker than this. other countries are already vaccinating, we have to wait. Tamiflu is being given out like smarties by 16 year olds on phone lines and meanwhile the government still does not know who to give jabs to.

Thank goodness it is not H5N1 flu !

As for people at risk, I wonder how many people are like me and my wife who are waiting for her to get a jab before trying for another child. As someone who suffered badly from pre-eclampia (which many of the deaths also had), she would be at severe risk, but they won;t inject until you are very pregnant and that can't be checked for three weeks, then it takes 12 days for the vaccine to kick in , giving 5 weeks of lower immunity and greater risk.


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