About Swine Flu
|June 14th, 2009||#7|
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|June 18th, 2009||#9|
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Okay, folks -- here's the skinny (coming from someone who's more or less working on this right now):
The novel A/H1N1 flu (as it's officially known) is proving to behave about the same as the regular flu bug (as of today, 18 June 2009). The fact that WHO formally declared a Stage 6 pandemic was a formality -- it just reflects the breadth and the speed of the spread of the virus. HIV/AIDS at one point would have met the definition for a Stage 6 pandemic, but no one seems to care about that anymore. And the regular flu kills about 36,000 people every year in the U.S. alone.
There is nothing one does differently for A/H1N1 flu vs. the regular flu -- the treatment protocol is identical. So if you're sick, don't bother getting tested just to see if you have it. The laboratories simply don't have the capacity to test everyone that has the flu.
There are only really four things you can do:
1. If you get sick with influenza-like illness or show signs/symptoms of ILI, STAY AT HOME. Stay home for at least 7 days, or 24 hours past when the signs/symptoms are over, whichever is LONGER. (So if you have signs/symptoms for 9 days, stay home for one more day. But if you only have signs/symptoms for 4 days, still stay at home for 7 days.)
2. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, and make sure you wash them long enough. Humming the tune to "Happy Birthday" while you lather your hands with soap is about right.
3. If you cough or sneeze, do so into a tissue or the sleeve of your shirt. Don't cough or sneeze into open air (that just aerosolizes the virus which allows it to spread more quickly, assuming you have it) or into your hands (your hands touch everything, which also help to spread it).
4. Call your doctor -- s/he will determine whether or not you need any antiviral medications (like Tamiflu or Relenza) based on your personal medical history, or whether or not you need to go to the hospital. Do NOT go to the hospital without asking your doctor (unless it's the middle of the night and you can't find your doctor and you're REALLY, REALLY sick), they're already clogged with people that really don't need to be there -- and it just spreads the virus around that much more.
That's it. Any more questions, let me know and I'll do my best to answer them.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" -- Isaiah 6:8
Last edited by AJChenMPH; June 18th, 2009 at 16:46..
|June 18th, 2009||#10|
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Thank you, Dr. Chen (seeing that you are wearing your professional hat).
Your excellent advice is both timely and very welcome.
Oh,... and while you're here, could you have a look at this spot I have on my......
"I am totally responsible for what I write,... however I cannot be held responsible for your complete inability to understand"
Last edited by senojekips; June 18th, 2009 at 19:42..
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