The H1N1 strain of swine flu, which became a worldwide pandemic last year, will probably still be the main type of flu people suffer from in the coming months, scientists have said.
Many people who still have not received a vaccine are vulnerable to the bug - and some parts of the UK were mostly untouched by it - despite the apparent public perception that “everyone’s had it”.
Specialists speaking at a press conference on the issue also said they believed the UK Government responded proportionately to the pandemic.
Professor Robert Dingwall, from the University of Nottingham’s Institute for Science and Society, said the UK was not hit as badly as experts had initially claimed, “but this does not mean that the virus is not capable of getting round these defences, leading to a second wave of infection.”
Governments are “damned if they act and damned if they don’t” but it is “much better” to get ready for the worst than having to back-pedal when a virus emergency hits, he claimed.
“We are not completely out of the woods yet. It’s already the case that pandemic H1N1 cases are being reported. That does not mean that it’s going to go on to be a major outbreak but it does mean we cannot relax our vigilance too much.”