What’s all the hype about the Swine Flu? You can get a slue of info on Wikipedia about the Swine Flu.
I’m just going to touch on a few points, but you’re always the judge. Judge what’s best for your family and always practice good hygiene and cleanliness.
In humans, the symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of influenza and of influenza-like illness in general, namely chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness and general discomfort. The strain responsible for the 2009 swine flu outbreak in most cases causes only mild symptoms and the infected person makes a full recovery without requiring medical attention and without the use of antiviral medicines.
Because the potential for a swine flu pandemic is now present, it is helpful to compare the current epidemic with those of earlier periods. The chart below gives figures for either worldwide or the U.S., depending on what figures were available.
It is believed to be spread between humans through coughing or sneezing of infected people and touching something with the virus on it and then touching their own nose or mouth. Swine flu cannot be spread by pork products, since the virus is not transmitted through food. The swine flu in humans is most contagious during the first five days of the illness although some people, most commonly children, can remain contagious for up to ten days. Diagnosis can be made by sending a specimen, collected during the first five days, to the CDC for analysis.
How to keep myself healthy?
1. If you have what you think are symptoms of flu, call your doctor - DON’T just go see him/her - if you do you might contaminate others on the way.
2. If you are found to be sick, stay HOME - do NOT go to work or school, etc and contaminate others.
3. When you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth so the germs do not go out into the air. This is just common sense and common courtesy that we should do anyway but now its more important.* Possibly carry a handkerchief if you’re sneezing a lot.
4. Wash your hands frequently - especially after touching things (keyboards, phones, doorknobs, etc) - use hot water and soap for 20 seconds or more or hand sanitizers such as Prell or equivalent.
5. Keep your bare hands away from your eyes, nose, mouth.
6. Eat nutritious food, lots of liquids [no alcohol....but you already knew that -- LOL], get good sleep, reduce stress as much as you can [right] and be physically active.
7. If you wear a mask be sure it is form fitted around your nose and mouth.
8. If you wear gloves, be sure they are non-latex**
* I have heard about sneezing into one’s arm pit*** - in my opinion, this is stupid unless one is exceptionally careful how it is done. Two weeks ago at church a person was sitting on the bench in front of us and did that. However she missed her armpit and blew her germs directly into the faces of my wife and me! [thanks Jim for the info, sorry you were sneezed on.]
**After years and years of using latex gloves most medical institutions have switched to non-latex for the safety factor. See you might be called upon to work on someone that is Latex sensitive and cause more harm than good, even if you don’t have a latex allergy. Nitrile type gloves have the best strength/stretch/protection of the current crop of gloves.
***You are not suppose to sneeze in your arm pit it is supposed to be in your elbow. The reason for that is that covering your mouth with your hand then being the “good” brother or sister and shaking hands with everyone spreads the disease rapidly. having a pocket alcohol based hand cleaner and washing with that (you don’t have to rinse) is a safe albeit paranoid way of making sure that you won’t get the bug from shaking hands. Best way is if YOU don’t feel good stay home from Church, or anywhere else until you feel better.
IF it becomes a major problem the Reserve Medical Corps would be the people who would distribute any vaccinations / flu shots. Joining their organization could put you on the top of the list of people to get the medicine. Just a thought! Maybe you should join?
Special thanks to Terry and Cory for the info provided above.