Monday, 27 April 2009

Swine Flu Fears In Scotland

Just out of sight in fact just a few miles over the next ridge from here lies Airdrie. In an isolation ward at Monklands hospital two Scots recently returned from Mexico who took ill on their return are under observation for the possibility of swine flu. Friends and family of the couple are also under observation and will be isolated if they show any flu like symptoms. There is a similar case of man in Stanwick, Northamptonshire who is also currently in isolation.

Medical experts are saying that it could be several months before an effective vaccine is available for this strain of flu. But the rapid spread of this flu which the World Heath Organisation says has 'pandemic possibility' shows one major difference from the 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak. In 2009 we are a much more global society, we travel far more widely in far greater numbers. The fact that it may already have travelled from Mexico, to the USA and to the UK is evidence of the speed with which such things can these days migrate.

Both the Scottish Cabinet and Westminster have had emergency meetings to discuss the situation. Scottish Health Minister Nicola Sturgeon saying:

"The Scottish Government, in conjunction with other administrations in the UK, is closely monitoring the situation and assessing the implications, if any, of this situation for Scotland."

A spokesperson for Westminster added:

"Cobra has met today. It involved people from different departments who are involved in planning for flu outbreaks, including people from devolved administrations.

"There will be an ongoing discussions and meetings while the threat of flu is there. The situation is also being monitored closely and assessed by the international organisations dealing with the prevention and control of infectious diseases."

The underlying message is that at present 3 isolated cases is not a cause for panic. However, the situation is under review and as ever when such things hit the headlines any worrying symptoms or even just normal flu-like symptoms should be taken a little more seriously than is normally the case.

1 comment:

  1. What made me laugh was Bill Turnbull emphasising that the people affected were in Scotland, thus reassuring the gentlefolk of the Home Counties......