In Case You Believe That We’re Goners…(With An Update)

UPDATE: How to survive swine flu in three easy lessons…(click here).

…about this new antibiotic-free strain of influenza that combines both bird and swine flus…

First, turn off your freaking TVs.  Or change the channel. Quit Tweeting. And this ain’t the movies: Outbreak, Andromeda Strain, 12 Monkeys or even Shaun of the Dead. Don’t even touch ’em at Blockbuster or choose ’em from Netflix. The MSM will be doing their worst in instilling fear and loathing in the populace.  Don’t give into the stupid. Contact your doctors, clinicians, nurses, specialists, if you need reassurance, especially about elderly family members or infants and toddlers, and then read up, starting here.  Learn to analyze whatever information comes and then act. This is straight from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Swine Flu in Humans

Can humans catch swine flu?
Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with swine flu have occurred. Most commonly, these cases occur in persons with direct exposure to pigs (e.g. children near pigs at a fair or workers in the swine industry). In addition, there have been documented cases of one person spreading swine flu to others. For example, an outbreak of apparent swine flu infection in pigs in Wisconsin in 1988 resulted in multiple human infections, and, although no community outbreak resulted, there was antibody evidence of virus transmission from the patient to health care workers who had close contact with the patient.

How common is swine flu infection in humans?
In the past, CDC received reports of approximately one human swine influenza virus infection every one to two years in the U.S., but from December 2005 through February 2009, 12 cases of human infection with swine influenza have been reported.

(Got that?  Read further.)

What are the symptoms of swine flu in humans?
The symptoms of swine flu in people are expected to be similar to the symptoms of regular human seasonal influenza and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Can people catch swine flu from eating pork?
No. Swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food. You can not get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork and pork products is safe. Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160°F kills the swine flu virus as it does other bacteria and viruses.

How does swine flu spread?
Influenza viruses can be directly transmitted from pigs to people and from people to pigs. Human infection with flu viruses from pigs are most likely to occur when people are in close proximity to infected pigs, such as in pig barns and livestock exhibits housing pigs at fairs. Human-to-human transmission of swine flu can also occur. This is thought to occur in the same way as seasonal flu occurs in people, which is mainly person-to-person transmission through coughing or sneezing of people infected with the influenza virus. People may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

What do we know about human-to-human spread of swine flu?
In September 1988, a previously healthy 32-year-old pregnant woman was hospitalized for pneumonia and died 8 days later. A swine H1N1 flu virus was detected. Four days before getting sick, the patient visited a county fair swine exhibition where there was widespread influenza-like illness among the swine.

In follow-up studies, 76% of swine exhibitors tested had antibody evidence of swine flu infection but no serious illnesses were detected among this group. Additional studies suggest that one to three health care personnel who had contact with the patient developed mild influenza-like illnesses with antibody evidence of swine flu infection.

How can human infections with swine influenza be diagnosed?
To diagnose swine influenza A infection, a respiratory specimen would generally need to be collected within the first 4 to 5 days of illness (when an infected person is most likely to be shedding virus). However, some persons, especially children, may shed virus for 10 days or longer. Identification as a swine flu influenza A virus requires sending the specimen to CDC for laboratory testing.

What medications are available to treat swine flu infections in humans?
There are four different antiviral drugs that are licensed for use in the US for the treatment of influenza: amantadine, rimantadine, oseltamivir and zanamivir. While most swine influenza viruses have been susceptible to all four drugs, the most recent swine influenza viruses isolated from humans are resistant to amantadine and rimantadine. At this time, CDC recommends the use of oseltamivir or zanamivir for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with swine influenza viruses.

What other examples of swine flu outbreaks are there?
Probably the most well known is an outbreak of swine flu among soldiers in Fort Dix, New Jersey in 1976. The virus caused disease with x-ray evidence of pneumonia in at least 4 soldiers and 1 death; all of these patients had previously been healthy. The virus was transmitted to close contacts in a basic training environment, with limited transmission outside the basic training group. The virus is thought to have circulated for a month and disappeared. The source of the virus, the exact time of its introduction into Fort Dix, and factors limiting its spread and duration are unknown. The Fort Dix outbreak may have been caused by introduction of an animal virus into a stressed human population in close contact in crowded facilities during the winter. The swine influenza A virus collected from a Fort Dix soldier was named A/New Jersey/76 (Hsw1N1).

Is the H1N1 swine flu virus the same as human H1N1 viruses?
No. The H1N1 swine flu viruses are antigenically very different from human H1N1 viruses and, therefore, vaccines for human seasonal flu would not provide protection from H1N1 swine flu viruses.

And just remember, common sense is infinitely more valuable and desirable a medicine than hearsay, ignorance and discrimination. The fearmongers have been looking for scapegoats: Mexicans, gays, Haitians, immigrants, poor people. Anything but to look at themselves critically for a minute.

The fearmongers have been also looking for The Big One (the San Andreas Fault in California; the New Madrid Fault in the Midwest), world war, and world pandemics (bird flu, swine flu, AIDS) to finally decimate the human race. Sometimes I think people (other than the End of Days fanatics, the Nostradamus freaks and the Jehovah’s Witnesses) wish the worst would happen just so that they can be proven right.

What we need are calm and rational answers, solutions and measures, and they won’t happen in an atmosphere where we almost welcome a disaster. Whatever you’re doing right with your spirit and health these days, keep on doing it. Appreciate your life everyday and every hour. Other than that, take care of yourselves and your loved ones and friends.

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~ by blksista on April 26, 2009.

One Response to “In Case You Believe That We’re Goners…(With An Update)”

  1. Great post. I think that’s the biggest problem with stuff like this is that it makes great news, and it can be blown way out of proportion by using fear to make people watch tv/buy newspapers/etc.

    I’m not saying it’s not something to worry about, I’m saying we should use our heads, like you said in your post, and stop freaking out about it.

    Oh, and people need to stop Tweeting about this because nothing is spreading the panic of this problem faster than that.


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