Though I love the holidays, yesterday was a welcome day, indeed. For yesterday the kids went back to school. And I don’t know about your household, but ours can barely survive two straight weeks of round-the-clock kiddie time. But this morning I read an article that made me wonder just how excited I’d be right now if I lived in England.
With cases of influenza extremely high, United Kingdom authorities are worried that the same thing will hold true with cases of H1N1, especially now that kids are returning to school. Authorities are bracing for what they fear might be a tremendous spike in the epidemic.
That’s why, according to Medical News Today, UK officials are urging parents to be “especially vigilant” with regard to the flu. In fact, health experts are encouraging groups who are at particularly high risk of contracting the flu to get vaccinated. Professor John Oxford, of St. Bartholomew’s and the Royal London Hospital, echoed those sentiments: “This virus is not going to go away next week. Even if it’s already peaked, it’s still going to be around for the next couple of weeks and it’s still worthwhile being vaccinated at this stage.”
Many believe that the current UK flu epidemic has not yet peeked. In fact, the Daily Mirror reports “that swine flu among children has reached epidemic levels.” So bad has it become that ambulances are having a hard time finding beds for sick infants, in some cases having to drive to hospitals over 100 miles away.
The numbers of those seriously affected with the flu in Great Britain are staggering. Currently, 738 flu patients are in intensive care units, 17 of whom require life support due to lung and or heart failure. Of the 39 people who have lost their life to the flu, 36 of them were found to have been infected with the H1N1 swine flu virus.
Though there does not appear to be a similar epidemic in the United States just yet, I sometimes worry about the H1N1 virus spreading here next. As such, I’ll have my eyes wide open for even the first sign of flu with my kids.
What about you? Do you worry about a swine flu epidemic? Have you ever had any experience with H1N1?