Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine Flu

Well, is this the virus the world has been waiting for to erupt? Media has given it a fair amount of attention as of late and it is interesting to note that some of the attention, particularly from the States, is to downplay the potential severity of the Swine Flu, stating it is too early to panic.

My first thought is better safe than sorry...remember SARS?

The other thing to consider is the economic impact this could have on the world's already flailing economy. The idea of a deadly virus entering our present with massive force and the potential to basically slow to a near stop all tourist travel is hardly a welcome thought. Something like this could transform countries that depend on tourism into proverbial ghost towns, not to mention the huge detrimental effects on the food and trade industries. The stock markets have already a hit, though it would seem that the message the "powers that be" are trying to project is, once again, that it is too early to panic.

The flu timeline thus far carries enough concern with it for the World Health Organization to issue a level 4 in measuring the severity of this virus. The world is to prepare for the worse. Stockpiling of zanamivir and oseltamivir has begun in serious and a strategy to use the zanamivir as the front line treatment has been implemented for now.

So, what can you do to help prevent the spread of this flu or any other flu?

Avoid crowded environments.
Sneeze into your elbow or a tissue (and then wash your hands).
Stay away from others if you are not well.
Avoid travelling to infected areas.
Otherwise, keep up adequate sleep, exercise, and eat healthy.

And if you do suspect that you may have contacted the flu. Be smart. Call your local health care provider, before you rush to the hospital, to seek direction. Also, avoid public transportation if you can; otherwise use a mask or a scarf to cover your nose and mouth and minimize all unnecessary contact with others.

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