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Swine flu could return this winter, health officials warn – symptoms of infection


Data from this year’s Southern Hemisphere winter season showed that H1N1, otherwise known as swine flu, was dominant.

Thus, after limited circulation since 2019, the H1N1 virus (swine flu) could be back in England, Wales and Scotland.

Symptoms of swine flu, as pointed out by the NHS:

  • Temperature of 38C
  • A cough
  • Sore throat
  • Aching body
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fatigue.

The health body adds: “The symptoms are the same as other types of common flu.

“They’re usually mild and pass within one to two weeks. But as with all types of flu, some people are at higher risk of serious illness.”

Professor Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Adviser at UKHSA, said the flu virus would have been responsible for over 14,000 excess deaths.

Thankfully, data suggests current flu vaccines were well-matched with circulating strains of swine flu.

The Australian government officially recorded its seasons as “low” clinical severity.

Hopkins added: “Last winter the vaccine prevented an estimated 25,000 hospitalisations.

“But this could be even greater if all those eligible for the flu vaccine came forward this year.”

Eligible groups include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Young children
  • Those with chronic health conditions.

Hopkins added: “We have good evidence to suggest this year’s vaccine will offer good protection.”

Vaccines Minister Maria Caulfield highlighted how flu placed a greater burden on hospitals than Covid last year.

Caulfield urged all those who are eligible to book their Covid and flu vaccinations.

The NHS clarifies that swine flu is now one of the seasonal flu viruses that circulate each winter.

Thus annual flu vaccines are created to help protect against severe illness caused by the H1N1 virus.

“If you’ve had flu in the last few years, there’s a chance it was caused by this virus,” the NHS says.

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