Swine flu is a relatively new strain of influenza (flu) that was responsible for a flu pandemic during 2009-2010.
On 10 August 2010, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that the swine flu pandemic was officially over. However, this does not mean that swine flu can be ignored.
The swine flu virus will be one of the most active viruses every winter and there are certain groups of people who will be more at risk. It is recommended that these groups of people have a flu vaccination each year to protect against the virus. The people who are more at risk are:
- Pregnant women
- Anyone who has had drug treatments for asthma in the past 3 years
- People who are aged 65 years and over
- People with a low immune system
Flu vaccinations are available from large chemists and some locals but some companies also offer the flu vaccine to staff.
Even though the swine flu pandemic is over there are still plenty of precautions that we can take to prevent the virus spreading.
Good hygiene is one of the main precautions that we can take and is very easy to maintain. Following these basic steps will ensure you will be protected from the virus.
- Always sneeze into a tissue and dispose of the tissue straight away- Catch It, Kill It, Bin It
- Wash hands regularly especially after using the toilet
- Clean work surfaces regularly
- Keep office equipment such as telephones, computer keyboards and mouse clean, especially if they are being shared by staff. Antibacterial wipes can be used for this job.
- Hand gel can be used frequently to keep hands clean. This can be bought in 500ml bottles for the desk, wall dispensers and also small 50ml bottles which are ideal for handbags and can be taken onto fights.