Should Poland Worry About Swine Flu?

Despite how loudly headlines from around the world have been screaming about the threats of swine flu, both Polish doctors and the Polish health ministry recommend staying calm and not paying too much attention to the more vocal news media.

On Monday, Deputy Health Minister Adam Fronczak announced that the nation’s hospitals are capable of handling a pandemic of swine flu. As of today, there has not been a single case of swine flu in Poland. If the virus were to appear in Poland in the near future, the health ministry has stated that there are enough beds and staff on hand to deal with the situation.

While over 30 people were suspected of carrying the A/H1N1 virus, so far each test has turned out negative. Paradoxically, doctors have suggested that those who think they may have contracted the disease should not immediately rush to a hospital, as that might contribute to a wider spread of any virus. Instead, if one starts to develop flu-like symptoms, it should be treated as a normal strain of the flu.

In a survey published Tuesday by the health portal konsylium24.pl, 63 percent of Polish doctors across the country have expressed no fear of developing swine flu. According to Gazeta Wyborcza, a vast majority of doctors have approached the media’s suggestion of a possible outbreak of swine flu very sceptically, citing that the higher percentage of deaths attributed to the disease in Mexico is a consequence of the poor medical facilities and high population density in the region rather than the disease itself – both factors which are not concerns in Poland.

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