Thursday, July 9, 2009
All of the information below is considered to be purely informational and a starting point for your research about swine flu. We also wanted to note that all information was take the the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) websites.
What Is The Swine Flu?
The swine flu is a brand new influenza that has begun to infect individuals around the world. This virus first appeared in Mexico in April of 2009 and has quickly spread to over 25 different countries worldwide and includes over 1500 confirmed cases within the United States and in 43 different states. Early on it was referred to as the swine flu but the name has been changed to the H1N1 novel influenza A virus because of the negative impact that it was having on the pork industry. This virus did originate in pigs but that does not mean that there is any danger in eating pork. In fact recent tests have shown that this virus carries influenza genes from pigs in Europe and Asia, along with human influenza and avian influenza genes. Scientists are calling this a quadruple reassortant. This virus spreads as a person-to-person virus and contact with pork or pigs is of little to no concern. The swine flu is very similar to the normal human flu.
What Are the Symptoms Of The Swine Flu?
The symptoms of the swine flu virus are very similar to those of the common human influenza. The symptoms that indicate that you have may have the swine flu include a fever, headache, extreme fatigue, cough, sore throat, stuff or runny nose, muscle aches, vomiting, and diarrhea. More serious symptoms that may indicate an emergency include sudden dizziness, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, confusion, persistent or constant vomiting, pneumonia, or respiratory failure. If you have several or more of these symptoms it is recommended that you take a visit to your general doctor to determine whether a swine flu test is necessary. It is important to note that while the swine flu can be a serious illness it is nothing to panic about and in most cases infected individuals are experience minor symptoms and quick recovery.
How Serious Are Most Swine Flu Illnesses?
With a lack of time for studies or data to be collected the CDC is somewhat unsure about the seriousness of the swine flu among the general public. The CDC however is issuing guidance that suggests that people that are more susceptible to complications with the normal human flu are also probably more susceptible to the H1N1 flu virus. This includes young children, the elderly, and anyone that already has underlying health issues.
How Does The H1N1 Virus Spread?
The novel influenza A virus is believed to be spreading in the same way as the regular flu. This is generally being around someone that has it and is coughing or sneezing. It can also be spread if someone coughs on their hand and then touches a door handle just before you do. It is important than any people who are infected be sure to cover their mouths when they cough.
What Should I Do If I Think I Have The Swine Flu?
If you are showing symptoms of the swine flu it would be best for you to visit your doctor so that he/she as a licensed professional can make a determination as to whether or not further testing for the swine flu is needed.
How Can I Minimize My Risk Of Contracting The Swine Flu Novel Influenza A H1N1 Virus?
The best way to limit your chances of getting the swine flu is by doing the same things you would do to avoid being sick at any other time. The CDC recommends that you be sure to wash your hands often, avoid crowded places where other infected individual might be, keep your stress levels low, get plenty of sleep, eat a healthy diet, avoid touching your eyes, noses, and mouth, use hand sanitizers often, and avoid anyone that you think may be sick.
For more information about the swine flu novel influenza A H1N1 Mexican flu virus visit the CDC website. There you can find tons of information provided by the government about the swine flu outbreak.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
In Canada there have now been 214 confirmed cases of the swine flu. This death marks the first death of anyone outside of the U.S. and Mexico. One encouraging thing however is that all three deaths in the United States and Mexico were of people that were either young, elderly, or had underlying medical issues. This continues to show what we have believe all along which is that a large portion of the population should have minimal concerns of death in regards to the swine flu.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Yesterday the WHO also announced that if the swine flu continues to spread at its current rate it could end up infecting up to 1/3 of the worlds population (2 billion people). This announced set off quite the panic, which was not what we needed at this time. After making these comments the WHO realized the panic they had caused and they were sure to reiterate the fact that this was not a disease that they expect to kill 2 billion people.
The WHO pointed out that if 2 billion people end up with the swine flu half of them probably will have either no symptoms or such mild symptoms that they do not even realize that they have it.
With this announcement the WHO set off another round of panics among individuals world wide. A WHO official was quoted as say the following "If the situation continues to evolve and the virus does become established in other countries, and we do move into a pandemic, we would expect the virus to infect many people," said WHO chief Keiji Fukuda at a press conference today. "Perhaps a third of the world's population could be infected with this virus, based on previous pandemic."
This information is not information that anybody needed or wanted to hear. Despite the swine flu's quick spreading it has continued to show mild symptoms in most infected individuals and has caused a minimal number of deaths.
It is very important that everyone stay tuned to the news about the swine flu and educate themselves but it is also important that they not panic.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
|South Carolina|| |
|TOTAL (41)||896 cases||2 deaths|
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
|States||# of |
|South Carolina|| |
|TOTAL (41)||642 cases||2 deaths|
The model that was created accounted for a significant number of factors for how the swine flu virus could spread including air travel. Unfortunately with our society being so mobile these days results showed that closing borders and limiting air travel would help very minimally in reducing the spread of the swine flu.
The test also considered if some sort of thermal scanning of people would help determine who was infected so they could be quarantined but this also proved not to help all that much. The problem here is that once infected with a swine flu type virus people do not show symptoms for roughly 24 hours which means that they could have already passed the virus to other individuals before they even know they have it. In other situations people don’t show any symptoms so thermal heating scanning would never help with them.
The only things that the model showed to be conclusive in helping limited the pandemic spread of a swine flu like outbreak were the use of anti-viral drugs (such as Tamiflu in this case), and limiting contact between people. One of the best ways that they determined to stop a virus of the swine kind of virus was through the closing of schools. Wearing face masks and practicing general hygiene habits also showed to help reduce the spread of influenza
Health official world worldwide are now thinking that the swine flu outbreak will be able to be controlled with antiviral meds in the parts of the world that are entering the summer months but it will be tougher to control in countries that are just entering the “flu season”.
Two of the reasons that these drugs need to be used carefully are that there is a limited supply of the tamiflu drug and there is no need to deplete the supply if you do not need the drug. Tamiflu is also known for having quite the list of side effects, ones that nobody wants to potentially have to deal with if they do not need to.
Beyond these two reasons the most important reason for using the Tamiflu carefully is because that if they are overused they could lose their effectiveness and then we wouldn't have an effective drug for those that truly need the drug.
The H1N1 swine flu virus is already resistant to several influenza drugs and flu viruses are known for being able to mutate, adapt, and build up a resistance to drugs in a short period of time.
If you come down with the swine flu is would be best that you don't take any medication unless it comes absolutely necessary.
Officials also stated that they expect the flu to continue to spread to more states and that there will mostly likely be more deaths as a result of it, although most cases are involving very minor symptoms.