Because I have the flu, even though its not H1N1, I'm not allowed to go in to work until I'm completely over it. Because I work on a ship in cold, wet weather, I normally catch a lot of colds and I get the flu a couple times a year. But usually I can take some medicine, get some sleep, and it clears up in a day or two. But I have had this flu for a week now and I'll probably have it a few more days. This is a strong virus going around. Several children in the neighborhood have been out of school over a week now. A few others I work with called off today from being sick. I was even taking precautions, spraying my paperwork and computers with disenfectant, washing my hands, using hand sanitizer in between and still I caught the bug.
Five people have died from swine flu in the Republic of Ireland, the last one on the same day that the first batches of swine flu vaccine were delivered to some GPs.
The HSE says the campaign to vaccinate around 400,000 people in at-risk categories will begin in two weeks.
Around 1,800 GPs have agreed to administer the vaccine but the Health Service Executive says it could be two weeks before all doctors are supplied.
The first round of vaccines will be made available for high-risk groups, which are defined as pregnant women and people with chronic illness aged between six months and 65 years.
Elsewhere, the Irish Medical Organisation has claimed that up to 1,000 GPs have concerns about the HSE's plans to vaccinate people at risk of the swine flu.
Dr Michael Mehigan of the IMO said that while GPs want to support the campaign, an increasing number are unhappy with the legal indemnity issues.
He said it had nothing to do with vaccine safety but that the issues needed to be resolved before the campaign begins on 2 November.
The IMO also said batches of vaccines were delivered to two GPs in the south-east and south of the country this morning, despite the fact that the doctors have not agreed to participate in the vaccination campaign.
The HSE said it would be responding today to queries raised by the IMO in a letter late last week.
The Executive said that it would run a public information campaign and that the onus would be on patients to self-identify themselves to their GP if they were in the at-risk group.