Ministry of Health Pandemic Influenza (H1N1) 09 Swine Flu – Update 131
The number of people reporting to GPs and hospitals with influenza-like illnesses continues to fall, but people need to remain vigilant and continue to take steps to stop the spread of germs.
Health Minister Tony Ryall says the continuing drop in influenza cases is encouraging, and has given frontline health services a welcome reprieve from the added pressures felt in recent months.
Whether the decline in cases will continue remains unclear. It is common for influenza numbers to rise and fall over several months.
Mr Ryall says, “Now is not the time to let down our guard. It is important that people continue to do the things that have helped keep them healthy during this pandemic: stay at home if you are sick, wash and dry your hands often and cover coughs and sneezes.”
He says it is important to remain prepared in case pandemic influenza re-emerges in coming weeks or months, or returns during the northern hemisphere winter.
Canterbury, so far one of the worst hit regions for swine flu, has begun closing its community based flu centres because only a small number have been attending recently. GPs in the region have been updated on how they can see patients with influenza while keeping other patients safe from getting the flu.