H1N1 strain of flu ‘will just subside’

2015-07-01 06:05

KWAZULU-NATAL MEC for Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, has allayed fears of a reported outbreak of H1N1 flu, stating that people with a strong immune system need not worry about getting infected.

Dhlomo also urged those with a compromised immune system, who have not yet had a flu vaccine, to ensure that they were vaccinated as this will lead to automatic vaccination against the H1N1 flu strain.

“About two months ago, we made a call as the Department of Health for people to undergo a flu vaccine.

“The vaccine on offer in South Africa for this flu season includes cover for the H1N1 strain. H1N1 is not a new disease anymore. It’s been around for a number of years.

“Most of the population have now developed immunity against it.”

Dhlomo said that since the majority of flu cases will present with mild disease, the vaccine is recommended for people in the high risk group which includes pregnant women, people with lung conditions like asthma, people with haematological and metabolic disorders like diabetes, people infected with HIV, children­ under four years of age, people over 65 and institutionalised people.

“People who fall under these groups should and must go for the flu vaccine, as H1N1 will be covered there,” said Dhlomo.

He urged the public to further build up immunity against flu by exercising regularly.

“Like any other strain that comes and goes, if you get a flu, just get painkillers, drink water, rest and you’ll be okay.

“Even if those with a normal immune system were to contract H1N1, it will just subside.

“Regular physical exercise means that you won’t be susceptible to disease, as your body will have built up enough resistance,” said Dhlomo.

- Supplied

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