Sunday, April 26, 2009

Swine Flu Epidemic to become Pandemic?

A few days ago, we heard of reports of a deadly flu in Mexico, where thousands were sick, and almost 100 dead. Stores in Mexico reported selling out of medical masks within a few a minutes, yet more seem to be contracting and dying from the virus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, its a respiratory disease typically found in pigs caused by type A influenza.

The AP released a Q&A about Swine Flu, hoping to cure some widespread panic that is sure to follow.

The Symptoms: similar to a regular flu, cough, fever, fatigue and lack of appetite.
Prevention: The flu shots will most likely be ineffective, however, two flu treatments called Tamiflu and Relenza seem to be affective.

In a separate article from AP, they warn to seek hospitalization when:
a fever of 100 + degrees, body aches, coughing, a sore throat, respiratory congestion and, in some cases, vomiting and diarrhea.

In an article by Donald McNeil, Jr. on the NYTimes website, Dr. Nancy Cox, the chief of the agency’s flu division says:
" The A (H1N1) flu strain they had was quite unusual. It contained gene segments from North American swine, bird and human flu strains as well as one from Eurasian swine."

More current updates tell us that there are 20 confirmed cases throughout five U.S. states and suspected cases as far away as New Zealand.

When you are sick, stick to common sense.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing with the crook of your elbow or upper arm instead of your hands.
  • Wash hands after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • If you think you have the flu, stay at home.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick.

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