Swine flu fears may put focus on MMR

Chris Carter IT WAS inevitable that a family member or work colleague would succumb to swine flu as the disease spreads throughout the population. Poor Anna Nalborczyk has been poleaxed and her concern for her own health has now extended to members of her family. Anna

Chris Carter

IT WAS inevitable that a family member or work colleague would succumb to swine flu as the disease spreads throughout the population.

Poor Anna Nalborczyk has been poleaxed and her concern for her own health has now extended to members of her family.

Anna is poorly, but her symptoms are the same as any strain of flu, as debilitating as they are.

The illness has provoked widescale media coverage - but as with most health stories we need to ensure we are responsible in our reporting.

Contracting swine flu is a concern, given the reports of cases all over the world, but in truth it is no worse than any other strain of flu.

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Seasonal flu affects millions and those who have underlying health problems are at greater risk. This latest strain of the virus is no different.

The authorities have been mindful of not creating a panic with their messages to the general population and we hope by reporting on Anna's situation we can reassure people.

This may not ease the fears of the many parents who are threatening to withdraw their children from schools where pupils have gone down with the illness. But it may have an impact in the falling number of parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated with the MMR jab.