Sauce for the swine is sauce for all flu

Swine flu isn't the only illness circulating in the MidCentral Health district, but medical officer of health Jill McKenzie says the same public health messages apply to them all.

Staying away from others while sick, careful handwashing and drying, and seeking medical advice if symptoms get worse is the consistent advice.

Since the second wave of the pandemic H1N1 hit the district last month, there have been 19 confirmed cases and seven people have been admitted to Palmerston North Hospital.

The virus was blamed for most illness in the community, but few people were being swabbed for a definite diagnosis.

Some schools were experiencing high levels of illness, but most were coping, and within a week or two attendances were returning to normal.

Whakarongo School began this week with 117 of its 330 students off sick.

Acting principal Lesley Jeffery said students were slowly returning to class, but it was taking time for them to recover, and many parents were expecting to keep children at home until Monday.

Nationally, there have been 332 people admitted to hospitals with lab-confirmed pandemic influenza, including 46 admissions to intensive care.

Last week consultations for flu-like illness were higher than at the same time two years ago, but they are still lower than they were during last winter's first wave of the pandemic.

Healthline (0800611116) handled around 9000 calls of all types in the week to Wednesday.

The Manawatu Standard