Swine Flu This Fall / What To Expect And How To Gaurd Against It

As of the week of June 27th 2009 , in the USA, there have been 33,902 cases of laboratory confirmed swine flu, with 170 deaths attributed.

Most of the deaths involved people with pre existing medical conditions. Most healthy people survived with the help of anti viral medications like Tamiflu or Relenza. Although this swine flu is virulent and affects a lot of of healthy young people aged 10 to 45 yers old, it’s symptoms and effects have , so far, seemed to be relatively minor.

The ability to fight off and survive a bout of swine flu is the reason that mortality rates are low, the younger and healthier you are to begin with gives you the edge. So while, younger people get the swine flu more often, more of them survive. They may also be getting the swine flu more often because they have no natural immunity to it, while older people seem to contract the swine flu less ,because they possibly retain partial or full immunity from exposure to previous variants of the swine flu, but their mortality rate is higher because of pre existing medical conditions and age related vulnerabilities.

The big problem is not present infection but future infection. If this is what’s going on in the off-season for flu, at least in this hemisphere, imagine what the conditions will be during flu season.Now it’s summer, we’re all outside, kids are at camp. What will happen in the fall when we all start coming indoors and the young go back to school. How will the swine flu impact the regular flu season, how will you even know which flu you have. What about anti viral resistant cases of swine flu which have been occurred in Europe. Will we have enough medicine,will we have a vaccine.

A vaccine is in the making , takes about 25 weeks, and governments are stock piling anti viral meds and making contingency plans for the coming season but adjusting your mind set now and spreading that mindset to your relatives and friends is good idea. I’m not talking armageddon here, just a few common sense measures to lessen your chances of contracting swine flu.

1) Keep your hands clean and away from your face. This is THE, number one action you can take to cut down on transmission from people and to people. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, anti bacterial soap is not needed for viruses. Eyes, ears, nose, mouth, these are the entry points for swine flu. If you eliminate touch transmission, all you are left with is airborne transmission. This strain of swine flu , H1N1, has proven not to be very efficient at infecting humans, a good thing for us.

2) Get your flu shots. Whether it’s for the regularly expected seasonal flu or swine flu ( as soon as it’s produced ). Flu shots have proven to be safe and effective, especially if you have a pre existing medical condition which may complicate or comprise your ability to fight off the swine flu.

3) Keep your hands clean and away from your face, did I mention that already

The top 3 are primary precautions, after that there are secondary precautions, face masks come to mind. All those people walking around with surgical masks in Mexico, were they protected, kind of. Most surgical masks are made to deter, wearer to patient transmission, so that health care workers don’t transmit anything. But to be very effective in preventing the wearer from infection, the mask must be worn tight around the face and be of quality material small enough to stop a virus.

If you are able to, stored in a cool dry spot, anti viral medicines can last for a long time.Good to know if you live far from a doctor, hospital or pharmacy.

Suggesting to the co-worker who looks ill, that a few days off would do him good, is a good idea, and do it from six feet away.

Don’t go to work sick, don’t go shopping, don’t send your sick kids to school. If you get the flu or think you’re getting it, just stay home.

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