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Influenza expert warns of more swine flu -

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ELEANOR HALL: Just as one piggery in southern Queensland is cleared of swine flu another has been
put under quarantine.

Authorities say the farm workers are passing the disease to the pigs and they can't rule out the
reverse happening.

The swine flu vaccine is now being rolled out across Australia as health experts warn of a second
and possibly more severe wave of swine flu.

In Brisbane, Nicole Butler reports.

NICOLE BUTLER: Queensland's chief vet Ron Glanville isn't surprised that a second piggery in the
state's south has been struck by swine flu.

RON GLANVILLE: Given our experience with the other one that cleared up very clearly, we think this
can be managed fairly easily.

We're probably going to get the odd event like this now considering the amount of H1N1 in the human
population.

NICOLE BUTLER: So Dr Glanville, if humans can pass the flu onto pigs, can the reverse happen?

RON GLANVILLE: That's always a risk because it is the same strain circulating within the human
population. But I suppose, you know, the risk to people is more from people rather than from pigs.

NICOLE BUTLER: But Dr Glanville says there's no risk associated with eating pork products from
animals that have had the flu.

RON GLANVILLE: Definitely not. There's certainly no risk to people from eating pork.

NICOLE BUTLER: Queensland piggeries aren't the only ones that have been affected by swine flu. Dr
Glanville says there have been cases in Victoria and New South Wales.

But Queensland's chief vet says it is the first time an influenza virus has struck pig herds in
Australia.

RON GLANVILLE: It's really a mild disease in pigs. The main thing is our pig herd in Australia is
free of influenza historically, so the main reason we're putting controls on here is just to
prevent the disease transmitting to other piggeries and for the disease becoming endemic within our
pig population.

NICOLE BUTLER: Dr Alan Hampson is chairman of the Australian Influenza Specialist Group. He says
the number of HINI infections in humans have now declined to a base level after a busy flu season
over winter.

ALAN HAMPSON: Look the H1N1 strain, this particular pandemic strain, really has taken over as the
predominant strain in Australia during the course of this last winter. It's been responsible for
something like 95 per cent of all diagnosed flu cases.

NICOLE BUTLER: Dr Hampson says the H1N1 strand of the flu has also proven to be a severe strain.

ALAN HAMPSON: Compared with our normal influenza season it's affected older people less, it's
affected younger people more. And of people who have become sufficiently ill to be hospitalised
it's actually put a lot more people into intensive care than our normal influenza seasons do, so...

NICOLE BUTLER: Dr Hampson says there's also been quite a number of deaths from swine flu.

ALAN HAMPSON: We've seen a disproportionate number of deaths in a few groups of people - pregnant
women for example, in Indigenous people and in people interestingly who are classified as morbidly
obese.

NICOLE BUTLER: The chair of Australia's Influenza Specialist Group believes Victoria bore the brunt
of the swine flu because it hit that state first before authorities knew the disease was even in
Australia.

But he says New South Wales also had a high number of cases and just last week over 50 people
tested positive for swine flu in Aurukun, a remote Indigenous community in Queensland.

ALAN HAMPSON: Well, I think it's one of the unfortunate effects that Indigenous communities do seem
to be more susceptible.

NICOLE BUTLER: The swine flu vaccine is being rolled out across Australia but authorities are
concerned at the lower than expected uptake by the public.

Dr Hampson is urging people not to be complacent just because the traditional flu season is over.
He says we may not have seen the worse of the H1N1 strain.

ALAN HAMPSON: We've seen interesting behaviour by this virus in other parts of the world and in
particular the ability of the virus to spread during summer months in some areas of the northern
hemisphere at least.

ELEANOR HALL: That's flu specialist Dr Alan Hampson.