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Experts issue swine flu reminder

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:53 02 July 2010

Dan Grimmer

Health experts in Norfolk are reminding people of the continuing importance of getting vaccinated against swine flu, a year after the virus first came to the UK.

Health experts in Norfolk are reminding people of the continuing importance of getting vaccinated against swine flu, a year after the virus first came to the UK.

Members of the public are being made aware of the ongoing vaccination campaign for vulnerable patients, in preparation for a possible rise in cases during the coming winter flu season.

The number of new cases of swine flu in Norfolk has declined considerably since they reached a peak last summer, with less than a handful of suspected cases per week in NHS Norfolk's area.

But health experts are encouraging vulnerable people who have yet to receive their vaccination to ask for one now, to reduce their risk of catching the virus later in the year when flu viruses tend to be more prominent.

Jonathan Williams, NHS Norfolk's assistant director of public health, explained that despite the significant fall in cases, the virus has not gone away.

He said: “The number of people contracting swine flu is now very low. However, viruses do not tend to disappear - they have peaks and troughs in the numbers of people they effect at different times and in different conditions.”

The eligible groups for the swine flu vaccination are those who are known to be most vulnerable to the virus. They are individuals aged between six months and up to 65 years in a clinical at-risk group, pregnant women, household contacts of immuno-compromised individuals and individuals aged 65 and over in a clinical at-risk group.

Members of the public, including those not in the above vulnerable groups, should continue to follow the Catch It, Bin in, Kill it message, which encourages people to reduce the spread of diseases by using a tissue when they sneeze, throwing it in the bin and then washing your hands.

For more information about swine flu and the symptoms, go to www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Pandemic-flu

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