Everybody loves good news, so it should bring a smile to your face when you find out that the World Health Organization has downgraded the H1N1 virus from a pandemic. The H1N1 virus is a new strain of the seasonal flu that grew into a pandemic last year. People rushed to get vaccinated and fears of vaccinations running out frequently made news headlines, but although it is no longer a pandemic, it is still present.
More good news is that most people are now immune to H1N1 which is the reason for the downgrade from pandemic. This year, the H1N1 virus and flu season are fast approaching again and many lessons have been learned from last year’s H1N1 pandemic. They include: receiving vaccinations, staying home when sick, appropriate washing of hands and covering your cough. With these four simple principles applied, last year’s big news story appears for all intensive purposes to be in control for this flu season.
The media and those associated with the dissemination of information regarding H1N1 should be commended. Because of the attention given to this topic as to its causes, symptoms and treatments, a large portion of the population were able to make the proper adjustments and take the appropriate precautions, which has led to a less anxious-driven flu season for this year. The next phase is keeping the topic in people's minds without using scare tactics because despite its demotion from a pandemic, it has not been banished from existence.