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Dublin: 5 °C Thursday 20 February, 2020

Four people with 'swine flu' have been admitted to hospital

The HSE has said that H1N1 is now considered a “seasonal flu virus”.

The then Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko in 2010 wearing a mask to protect against Swine flu
The then Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko in 2010 wearing a mask to protect against Swine flu
Image: AP Photo/Sergei Grits

FOUR PEOPLE WITH the ‘swine flu’ virus H1N1 have been admitted to Wexford General Hospital.

The HSE has confirmed the cases and that the patients are unlikely to require inpatient care.

It has clarified that there has been “no outbreak” in the hospital, and that no patient has acquired the virus while on the premises.

The hospital has said that it is following guidelines issued by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

BT Young Scientist competition Cynthia Ebere Anaba, Jessica Sheehan and Laura Fitton, who entered BT Young Scientist in 2010 with a project on swine flu Source: Niall Carson/PA Wire

What was ‘swine flu’? 

H1N1 caused shockwaves when it swept the globe in 2009.

The virus first emerged in the United States in April, and quickly spread after that.

It was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) a few months later, and by June it was estimated that 74 countries and territories had reported confirmed cases.

There is a difference between this current seasonal H1N1 virus and the pandemic H1N1 virus of seven years ago.

According to the WHO, many people have immunity to the seasonal variation of the virus, but not the pandemic version of it.

What should people do?

The H1N1 is has been covered in the seasonal flu vaccine since 2009/2010.

It is now considered to be a seasonal flu virus, and certain demographics have been warned that they may be more susceptible to it than others.

These include

  • Everyone over the age of 65, 
  • Anyone over 6 months of age with a long-term illness,
  • Pregnant women,
  • Children or teenagers undergoing aspirin therapy,
  • Nursing home residents.

The HSE provides flu and pneumococcal vaccines for free to everyone in these at-risk groups.

With reporting from Cormac Fitzgerald

Read: Ireland might see ‘a few cases’ of Ebola. So, how will it cope?

Also: Here’s how Russia’s ban on most EU food imports affects Ireland…

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