I am not sure if it a coincidence or not that I planned on focusing on Pandemic preparedness for the month of May. I received an email a few weeks ago that introduced me to the idea of a pandemic being something that could affect us today. Now the swine flu has got us all thinking and perhaps worried, I am going to see if I can take all of the info and help us prepare and not panic!
Swine Flu: The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu.
How can you get it? It is contagious and is transmitted like the regular flu, through sneezing, coughing of the infected person on or near you. Germs are spread more quickly when you touch an infected surface and then your eyes, nose or mouth. Infected people may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 7 or more days after becoming sick. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.You can not get it from eating pork!
What do you do if you get it? For now it is treated like the regular flu- rest, TLC and a visit to the doctor can get you an antiviral shot that can lessen symptoms and get you better at a faster rate.
What can I do to protect myself from getting sick? There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu. There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:
-Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
-Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
-Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
-Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
-Don't go to Mexico right now!
-Don't go to the doctors right now if you don't have a problem- chances of getting more germs there
Why should we not worry right now? (less worry, more preparing:)
-40,000 people die from the regular seasonal flu each year, with the vaccine, and it hasn't made headlines like this swine flu has that has 109 sick in the U.S. and only one death.
-it is not potent and symptoms are mild to moderate
-the antiviral medication seems to be controlling the symptoms
Pres. Obama said Monday that the threat of spreading swine flu infections is a cause for concern but "not a cause for alarm" .
The LDS church has stated:
"Church leaders are closely monitoring news, security and medical reports regarding the swine flu outbreak.
The Mexican government has requested that all churches and organizations in Mexico City and affected areas suspend public meetings and has asked residents to follow basic sanitary precautions to guard against infections.
We have asked our members and missionaries to follow these precautions and Church leaders have cancelled meetings until further notice.
All missionaries in the affected areas are reported to be safe."
Why should we Worry? Sometimes we get to comfortable and think it couldn't happen to us, and then don't prepare, so for that reason I add the "scare factor":)
-If you listened to the news they asked the question, "is it overblown to compare this flu with the pandemic of 1918? Not really. The pandemic of 1918 didn't present itself to be deadly until the 2nd year. This flu could "burn out" or mutate into something similar to the 1918 pandemic.
*Now is the time to prepare! Lets get everything in order in our homes, just in case it doesn't "burn out". There are some basic things we can do now, and I will break that information down this month. I really don't know any more about this then the average person, so I am taking as much info as I can from Federal and LDS church site. I will always give you a link to where I find the info so you can look it up as well.
- The 1918 pandemic spread more or less simultaneously in 3 distinct waves during an 12-month period in 1918–1919, in Europe, Asia, and North America. http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/swineflu_you.htm
-An estimated one third of the world's population were infected and had clinically apparent illnesses during the 1918–1919 influenza pandemic. Total deaths were estimated at 50 million and were arguably as high as 100 million.