I've had quite a few questions about Swine flu from my last post. Just to make it clear, Chrissy hasn't been confirmed as a case, they stopped testing people quite a few weeks ago, but they say that most of the flu in New Zealand is swine flu, so we presume that is what she has.
I am absolutely not an expert, but here's a few bits from my perspective. It seems from our NZ experience that at this point it was not actually worse than normal seasonal flu which kills quite a few people in NZ, but the thing is that NOBODY had immunity to it, so that people go down like nine-pins!
Everywhere you go in NZ, including shops, offices etc there are bottles of hand sanitising gel to use and posters in all public places telling people to stay home if they are sick, (which is what they should do anyhow!!).
I got in a bit of a tiz at first, what with having a tiny baby in our house and all, and for a while schools were being shut if they had confirmed cases. We stocked up the pantry a bit in case we had to stay home for a while. We did keep Annie-Rose home for quite a few weeks, more than we would have done with a small baby. We also put hand sanitiser at the back door and got everybody who came to use it. Anybody who got sick in our house has had to stay away from the baby and the rest of us and we have been very strict about that.
I also keep sanitiser in the car. Usually I don't use antiseptic soap in the bathrooms, but we have done for a while. Also because all of this washing makes your hands dry out, I've put hand lotion by all hand basins to protect our hands.
A couple of things I would say if you are heading into a flu season are...
- Stock up on panadol, wet wipes, tissues (even if you usually use hankies), lemonade, hand sanitiser and basic groceries.
- Have a flu jab. This has been recommended in NZ, as if you get both types of flu, it is not at all good.
- The swine flu seems to be especially bad if you have existing conditions, especially respiratory conditions, so be prepared to maybe stay away from public places if this is you.
- Good hygenie and health practice are still the best prevention.
Hope this helps.