Taslearn          Swine flu information


Your main information source is www.pandemic.tas.gov.au
 Links to the Pandemic site: Latest news   |  Main page  |  For schools


Now it's bird flu again...

Avian flu fear as mutant strain hits China and Vietnam
BBC News, 29 Aug 2011

Bird flu could come back, while a mutant strain - able to sidestep vaccines - could be spreading in Vietnam and China, the United Nations has warned.


See the weekly flu data
Tas Govt media release, 14 July 2011
Weekly flu data will be published for the first time this winter, to encourage Tasmanians to help prevent the spread of flu.
Deputy Director Public Health Dr Chrissie Pickin said today’s fluTAS report shows the number of Tasmanians getting diagnosed with flu is starting to increase, with 25 cases notified in the past four weeks.
The weekly fluTAS report is available at fluTAS report 2011.

2011 resurgence?
Swine flu rearing its ugly head in UK
Back to school swine flu "surge"
teachers.tv, 5 Jan. 2011
Doctors are predicting a significant increase in the number of swine flu cases as children return to school following the Christmas break...
See more 2011 swine flu news stories




Swine flu pandemic over
news.com.au, 1 December 2010
THE swine flu pandemic which claimed 213 Australian lives has been officially declared over by federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon. Details

Teen Andrew Allan died after swine flu went undiagnosed (Perth Now, 25 Sep 2010)

Swine flu cases rising in Australia (SMH, 27 Aug 2010)

Kids' swine flu vaccine withdrawn (ABC, 27 Aug 2010)

Information from the Deputy Director of Public Health, Dr Chrissie Pickin - 4 August 2010

In a letter to parents and carers [Word doc] dated 4 August 2010, Dr Pickin says that over the coming weeks the number of people with Swine flu is expected to rise.

People should:

- get immunised, and get their children immunised

- keep children at home and away from group activities, if they have flu-like symptoms

- encourage good hygiene by washing hands and covering sneezes with a tissue or the inside of the elbow instead of the hand

- see their doctor if they are worried.

Dr Pickin says that people at high risk of serious illness from Swine Flu include pregnant women, obese people, indigenous people, those with asthma and other long-term breathing problems, those with illnesses such as diabetes, heart, kidney or liver disease, or chronic neurological conditions, and those whose immune systems have been weakened, as can occur due to as cancer treatment or HIV/AIDS.

It is important to see the letter for full details.

See also the 16 August 2010 update on the Education Department's website.



Information from the World Health Organisation, 11 August 2010:

Swine Flu Pandemic Over, WHO Declares
But H1N1 Flu Bug Still Here, Becoming Seasonal Virus

July 10, 2010 -- The H1N1 swine flu pandemic is over, the World Health Organization declared today.

The world has now entered the "post-pandemic period" in which the H1N1 virus has begun acting like -- and circulating with -- other flu bugs.

"The new H1N1 virus has largely run its course," WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, MD, said at a news teleconference.

See more.


The information below was last updated on 12 February 2010.


Wash your hands - oftenLATEST ADVICE  |  FAQ  |  Links
Media releases  |  DPIW advice
  Keeping up to date  |  Dept of Education
Protecting yourself  |  Flu Hotline

This information for students and parents is subject to change. Check back here every day.
Updated 12 February 2010

Got symptoms of any kind of flu?
- Assume you have swine flu. Students need to stay home for SEVEN DAYS.

See What to do if you think you have flu 

Been exposed to any kind of flu?
- Avoid spreading it and protect the vulnerable (at-risk) people.

See What to do if you think you think you've been exposed to the flu 

Read MORE in the latest advice box at the right ►

- and on the Protect yourself page of the state government's Pandemic influenza website.



Vaccinations suspended for children aged 5 and under

Seasonal flu vaccinations have been suspended until further notice for children aged 5 years and under.

The concerns that have led to the suspension relate to a particular type of seasonal flu vaccine and are not related to the specific swine flu vaccine.


Free swine flu vaccine now available for adults and children

GPs and most local government vaccination centres are now providing free swine flu vaccinations, the Director of public Health said in a letter sent home to parents at the beginning of term 1, 2010.


First wave appears to be over: 9 September

The first wave of the H1N1 pandemic (swine flu) appears to be over. But:

  • continued attention to hygiene such as washing hands is necessary

  • we still need to remain vigilant, stay home if unwell and seek early medical help if severely ill or in a vulnerable group, and

  • we need to get ready for the second wave

The second wave of swine flu is expected to hit with renewed strength some time in the next nine months.


A roll-out of vaccine is being organised.


More information is available in the media release from Acting Director of Public Health, Dr Chrissie Picken.


Make sure you read the         
Latest advice
in relation to schools         


Update for parents: 31 July

Assume it's swine flu, but you probably
don't need to see a doctor...


The Acting Director of Public Health, Dr Chrissie Picken, has asked schools to distribute a letter to parents and careers that includes the following points:

  • If a child has flu you should now assume it is swine flu.

  • Most students with flu, even swine flu, do not need to see a doctor, but if you still feel they should then phone the Flu Hotline.

  • Certain people with a flu-like illness who are at high risk of severe illness from flu, however, should see a doctor as soon as possible.

  • If your child has flu then they need to stay home for seven days, particularly because they could endanger the high risk people by attending school.

It is important to see the letter in order to read the detail behind these points.


- 31 July 2009



Washing hands is essential

Washing your hands properly and frequently is essential if you're going to give yourself the best chance of avoiding swine flu.

- Dated Wednesday, 22 July 2009



Changes in swine flu advice: June

In June there were changes to what students with swine flu, any flu and possible flu should do (Letter to parents and carers dated 18 June 2009 from the Acting Director of Public Health).

The new emphasis

  • removes the requirement that certain people be quarantined or stay home


  • increases protection for those who are more likely to be seriously affected by swine flu.

These VULNERABLE PEOPLE include pregnant women, those who already have heart disease, diabetes, renal disease, immune system suppression or significant obesity, and those who have asthma or other diseases that involve breathing difficulties. Aboriginal groups may be at increased risk because many already have underlying health factors.

See the Presentation for high risk groups.

For these vulnerable people, early assessment and treatment is important if their condition deteriorates. They should phone the Flu Hotline if they are concerned about the severity of their illness.

Students no longer have to stay home simply because they have travelled to Victoria or other affected places.

But students (and other people) with any kind of flu need to stay home for seven days after they first get the flu.

Those with mild illness and without underlying risk factors should self-manage in the first instance and can use over-the-counter medication.

Also, schools will not automatically be closed if a student has been in  the school with swine flu.



There are NO LONGER any flu clinics operating in Tasmania.

Hobart's only flu clinic, at 2-4 KIRKSWAY PLACE, ceased operating on 30 August.

Like the others, it will remain on standby and be reactivated if the need arises.

(Should it re-open, then the directions to access it are: from Davey Street, turn into Sandy Bay Road, then first left at the Gladstone Street traffic lights, then first right.)

Brighton Civic Centre, Bridgewater
The Brighton Civic Centre, Bridgewater, was our first flu clinic. However, all flu clinics have now closed and are on standby.

Should the flu clinics re-open then the rules for people attending will probably be only if BOTH of the following apply to them:

  • they have a flu-like illness (fever plus one of the following: cough, sore throat or runny nose/nasal congestion)


  • they have severe symptoms or are at risk of complications.

But before going to the flu clinic you would need to phone the Flu Hotline.



If you have flu, see What to do if you think you have flu.

If you think you may have been exposed to the flu, see What to do if you think you've been exposed to the flu

See also Presentation for high risk groups, especially if you are in a high risk group.

For advice on how best to protect yourself and others against swine flu see How can I protect myself and my children? [pdf file].Signs of flu - fever, dry cough, body aches and pains, sore throat

The basic advice is:

  1. Know the signs of flu: fever, dry cough, sore throat, body aches and pains.

  2. Use your phone straight away if you get flu symptoms within seven days of relevant TRAVEL or CONTACT. (See KEY MESSAGES at right.). Phone the Flu Hotline: 1800 358 362 (1800 FLU DOC).

  3. Stay home until you have recovered.

  4. Keep your distance in public - one metre or a very large step from other people.

  5. Cover your cough or sneeze. Use a tissue or the inside of your arm.Using alcohol-based gel  - place small blob on one hand...

  6. Wash your hands often with soap or alcohol-based hand rub before touching your mouth, eyes, nose or anything that is to go into your mouth. See the special media release on washing hands (22/7/2009)

 ...then rub your hands thoroughly, until it has evaporated

Flu or just a cold?
Flu makes you feel miserable all over, while a cold is generally focused on your head and throat. (More [pdf file].)


Latest media releases:

For the most recent media releases see Tasmanian Government Media Releases.


Tasmanian government logoLatest advice
about students
based on statements by the Minister for Health, the Department of Health and the Department of Education

This advice for students and parents is subject to change. Check back here every day.
 Updated 11 September 2009.

Returning to TasmaniaINFORMATION for students and parents/carers


Students who are showing symptoms of ANY kind of flu need to stay home - for SEVEN DAYS from the onset of the flu.

The symptoms would be more than just a runny nose though - they would normally consist of fever with a cough and/or sore throat.

Anyone (student or adult) with such symptoms needs to stay home and away from others as much as possible.

Staying home not only reduces the spread of the flu but also protects vulnerable people at school or work.


Although the first wave of swine flu appears to have passed, it is important to remain vigilant:

  • wash hands

  • cover coughs

  • stand away from others

  • stay home if unwell

  • seek early medical attention if you get flu and are severely ill or in a vulnerable group


Of top importance are students who could be particularly vulnerable to the effects of swine flu. These students are those who:

  • take medications to prevent asthma (not those who only require occasional medication to relieve symptoms)
  • have diabetes or heart, lung, kidney, liver or immune system problems
  • have cancer, including leukemia

Parents of these students should seek medical care early if they get a fever
with a cough and/or sore throat. Antivirals may be provided, but must be started within 48 hours of the child getting sick to be effective.

Monitor the health of all children who get sick with flu symptoms. If your child has flu symptoms and is lethargic – has difficulty waking up, is no longer alert, or is not playing – or if you are worried about how sick your child is, seek urgent medical care.
(Letter to parents and carers, 6 July 2009)



Flu Hotline

Phone 1800 358 362 (1800 FLU DOC) if you are worried about your symptoms.

Key symptoms of swine flu are fever, with cough and/or sore throat, runny or blocked nose, headache and a general feeling of being unwell. See also What is H1N1 influenza (swine flu)?

This is especially important if you are pregnant or have asthma, chronic obstructive airways disease (COAD), heart disease, diabetes, renal disease or immunity problems or if you are significantly obese.

Please phone the hotline number BEFORE going to a flu clinic, a hospital, a pharmacy or your GP. 


Advice from the Department of Primary Industries and Water website

Australia is free of swine flu in pigs.

It is safe to eat properly handled and cooked pork and pig meat products.

People with flu-like symptoms should not work with pigs (or fowl) - to prevent the virus being transferred to the animals.
(2 June 2009)

For full details see the DPIW Swine Flu page.





Other names for SWINE FLU include Human Swine Flu, H1N1 Influenza 09, Influenza A (H1N1) and Novel H1N1 Flu


Department of Education

The Department of Education's Influenza and Pandemic Management page also provides useful information for teachers and parents.



Frequently Asked Questions (19 June 2009)Wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub

From the Tasmanian government's Pandemic Influenza website.




Keeping up to date

Swine flu and keeping up to date

To keep up to date, you can:

People who think they might have swine flu should phone 1800 358 362 before going to a flu clinic, doctor, chemist or hospital. See the Flu Hotline information.

- Message updated 12 February 2010

  • In case you missed out here is the swine flu information contained in Info, our newsletter to parents, dated Thursday 28 May and sent home on Friday 29 May (but note that letters containing updated information were sent home on 12  and 18 June):
  • Letter to parents from the Acting Director of Public Health, Tasmania, dated 27 May 2009) [pdf file] - but note that students no longer need to stay home simply because they have travelled to affected areas.

  • Information Sheet for Parents (Wednesday 27 May 2009) [pdf file] - note that this document has since been replaced by the expanded document above called Frequently Asked Questions 18 June 2009



Swine Flu Websites

  Tasmania Australia Overseas
Government and official websites Planning for a Pandemic* (Tasmanian Government)

Influenza pandemic - what does it mean for schools and childcare? (Tasmanian Government)

Influenza and Pandemic Management (Education Department)

Health Emergency (Australian Government)


Center for Disease Control: H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) (US Government)

Flu.gov (US Government)

Influenza A (H1N1) (World Health Organisation)

News websites (official) Latest News (Tasmanian Government pandemic website)


H1N1 Influenza 09 (Human Swine Influenza) Outbreak (Australian Government)  
News websites(news media) New swine flu plans (Mercury, 10 Sept. 2009)

More swine flu cases likely (ABC News, 13 July 2009)

Shift in swine flu fight (The Mercury, 18 June 2009)


ABC News:  Swine influenza

SBS World News: Swine Flu

The Australian: Swine Flu Outbreak

Medical websites     Medline Plus (USA)
Unofficial information websites     2009 swine flu outbreak (Wikipedia)

2009 swine flu outbreak in Australia (Wikipedia)

2009 swine flu outbreak by country (Wikipedia)

Wikipedia: Swine influenza

Q&A: Advice about swine flu (BBC)

*The main site from which to keep up to date