Compassion comes at a cost
Mental health nurses are at the frontline of any mental health engagement. So, it’s an odd kind of disconnect when counsellors, psychotherapists and psychologists engage in compulsory regular debriefing sessions during their training yet a similar model is yet to be mandated for mental health nurses – the very people who are expected to respond to the mental health needs of their patients from shift to shift.1
March 2014: Over 100 people have been admitted to hospital with swine flu in Queensland already this year – double the number for the same period last year.
85% of influenza notifications in Queensland are H1N1 virus (swine flu). Courier Mail, 12 March, 2014
Similarly , a swine flu pandemic has been reported in New Zealand, prompting both NZ and Australian health authorities to encourage people to have their flu shots early. International Business Times, 27 March, 2014
What is Swine Flu?
H1N1 Influenza virus is a relatively new strain of Influenza A virus – first detected in Mexico in April 2009. The H1N1 virus spread rapidly around the world and was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation in June 2009. H1N1 is referred to as swine flu because it contains some of the same DNA from influenza strains that infect pigs.
What are the symptoms of swine flu?
The symptoms of swine flu are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu:
- sore throat
- runny nose
- body aches
Some people also have diarrhoea and vomiting.
Like the flu which occurs every year, swine flu can spread from person to person via droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets can also settle on objects like telephones and door knobs and can then be transferred to the nose, mouth or eyes. As swine flu is a relatively new strain of influenza A, most people haven’t come into contact with it before and are therefore not immune.