The Swine Flu virus has been out of the headlines for a few weeks due to the scandal of the MP’s expenses and then the local and European elections. Maybe the media should have kept a slot available in the daily schedule to keep the virus in the forefront of peoples minds. On the news this morning they did a piece to remind people that swine flu was still a hazard and that in the last week the number of cases has doubled, but it has been weeks since they have covered it.
In recent weeks in the North of England we have been pretty safe from the virus, until we had a couple of cases in the Hambleton area that seems to have been brought to the area by school kids that attended Eton College that was closed last month. But today sees the first case in Ripon which has caused the local secondary school, Ripon Grammar School, to close from today for a week.
It is a Year 7 school girl who has been confirmed as being affected and the NHS have deemed that all the Year 7 pupils have come in close enough contact with the girl to warrant closing the whole school. There are kids at the moment with exams to take which must be really disruptive. Ripon Grammar School is literally a few hundred yards away from our house which brings swine flu right onto our doorstep, which is a wierd feeling at the moment and it makes me want to not let the kids go out of the house. I know though that you have to be in close contact with an infected person, but you think of how quickly a virus can spread especially when the most contagious time is before any symptoms occur. For more updates on Swine Flu in Ripon check out the Latest News on the Ripon Internet website.
This sort of thing takes me back to 2005 when Ethan was desperately ill with meningitus and how the Health Protection Agency was very careful to try to trace where Ethan had been in the days before he started to show symptoms. Its strange that you just don’t hear about menigitus anymore but it is still classed as a really deadly virus.
Its expected that the World Health Organisation will escalate Swine Flu on the risk scale to a level 6 which is a World Pandemic and we still have to get through the Autumn and Winter yet where it is set to mutate and spread faster.
Update: Ripon Grammar School reopened on the 18th June following no other reported cases.
Photography by BearMan2007