There I was… the date was April 17, 2009… it was 9:03 AM.
I went to my favorite news site and Screaming 80 point size Blood Red Headlines…
First Human Case of Swine Flu Reported!
Then the news organizations started doing what they do best…
…creating a worldwide panic.
With Swine Flu making the headlines, and staying in the headlines it’s time to set fact from fiction and learn how to protect ourselves.
First a brief history of this outbreak…
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control)
In March and early April 2009, Mexico experienced outbreaks of respiratory illness and increased reports of patients with influenza-like illness (ILI) in several areas of the country. On April 12, the General Directorate of Epidemiology (DGE) reported an outbreak of ILI in a small community in the state of Veracruz to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in accordance with International Health Regulations. On April 17, a case of atypical pneumonia in Oaxaca State prompted enhanced surveillance throughout Mexico. On April 23, several cases of severe respiratory illness laboratory confirmed as swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus (S-OIV) infection were communicated to the PAHO. Sequence analysis revealed that the patients were infected with the same S-OIV strain detected in two children residing in California.
From that point it spread to the USA, Europe, Canada Asia, South America, and all over the world.
The thing that is especially important and of concern about flu is it mutates… constantly. That is why there is no vaccine effective at this point for this version of Swine Flu.
Fortunately, while this current version is aggressive, it is not and I repeat not especially deadly.
The wise prognosticators are predicting this version of Swine Flu will spread rapidly for a few more weeks, and then go dormant until the fall. Their reasoning for this is supposedly the flu virus does not like the summer heat.
While this may make sense if you are specifically talking about North America and Europe, and Northern Asia… I have to ask… what about places like Australia, New Zealand and other areas way south of the equator who are on opposite seasons of the Northern Hemisphere?
Swine flu will be there… And it will start to mutate.
Then in the fall and winter of areas North of the equator it will return.
A recent article by press service AFP put it this way
“Even as the swine flu’s global progression slows, experts said on Tuesday the world must brace for a second wave of infection that, previous pandemics have shown, could be far more virulent. All three of the major flu pandemics of the 20th century — including the Spanish Flu of 1918, which left at least 40 million dead — started with a milder outbreaks in the northern hemisphere’s late spring, they point out. Pandemics typically begin with a ‘herald wave’ — heralding something else coming along,&Rdquo; said John Oxford, a top virologist at Saint Bartholomew’s and the Royal London Hospital. ‘It is disconcerting that in 1918 there was a summer outbreak that was fairly mild. It should have been a warning for the big wave, that came in the fall and winter,’”
In that release AFP also said
“What health experts fear most is that the virus will continue to mutate, mixing its genes with other flu viruses present in birds, pigs and humans.”
Now, watching the news on tv recently, I became aware that like any “crisis” or anything of concern you will find some slimy bottom feeding garbage people who do their best to exploit the panic of the masses by selling them crap.
Some have simply copied information from the CDC, and other government sources packaged it into a neat little report and are selling it for huge dollars as a Swine Flu Survival Guide or some other nonsense.
I also saw reports of some slime selling bogus medications. Unfortunately, there is no medicine… zero… zip… nada that has yet been proven to fight Swine Flu.
That means Save Your Money! Don’t buy that bogus garbage they are selling.
Some Swine Flu Facts…
The CDC says…
“H1N1 and H3N2 swine flu viruses are endemic among pig populations in the United States and something that the industry deals with routinely. Outbreaks among pigs normally occur in colder weather months (late fall and winter) and sometimes with the introduction of new pigs into susceptible herds. Studies have shown that the swine flu H1N1 is common throughout pig populations worldwide, with 25 percent of animals showing antibody evidence of infection. In the U.S. studies have shown that 30 percent of the pig population has antibody evidence of having had H1N1 infection. More specifically, 51 percent of pigs in the north-central U.S. have been shown to have antibody evidence of infection with swine H1N1. Human infections with swine flu H1N1 viruses are rare. There is currently no way to differentiate antibody produced in response to flu vaccination in pigs from antibody made in response to pig infections with swine H1N1 influenza.
While H1N1 swine viruses have been known to circulate among pig populations since at least 1930, H3N2 influenza viruses did not begin circulating among US pigs until 1998. The H3N2 viruses initially were introduced into the pig population from humans. The current swine flu H3N2 viruses are closely related to human H3N2 viruses.”
Take this test to see how much you know about protecting yourself from Swine Flu
Take out a piece of paper or open up a text window on your computer and mark your answers True or False
- I can get Swine Flu from eating Pork (True/False)
- There is only One swine flu virus (True/False)
- Aside from the Spanish Flu in 1918 there has never been another flu pandemic (True/False)
- 2009 is the first time Swine Flu has shown up in people. (True/False)
- I can take take drugs to immunize myself from swine flu. (True/False)
- If I get swine flu I will die. (True/False)
- If I touch someone who has swine flu I will automatically get it. (True/False)
- The symptoms of swine flu are the same as standard flu. (True/False)
- The Human flu and swine flu are the same flu. (True/False)
- There is nothing I can do to protect myself other than lock myself in my house and have no direct contact with any person. (True/False)
- Since vaccinations for diseases are based on the theory of injecting some of the virus (though it’s dead) into the human body, the body learns how to defend against the live virus. So I should go out now, find someone who has the swine flu and get myself infected on purpose so I will be protected later. (True/False)
- If I get Swine Flu what would I do?
So How Do You Think You Did?
Expert? Neophyte? Or Somewhere in-between?
Let’s find out…
You had the Questions… Well… We Got Yer Answers…
Question 1: I can get Swine Flu from eating Pork (True/False)
Answer: So far, this is a myth. As far as any evidence has shown… Swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food…. any food… swine flu is not transmitted to humans through eating pork… That means… You can not get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. IF you follow the normal pork safe handling e.g. Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160°F kills the swine flu virus as it does other bacteria and viruses.
Oh, and make sure you wash your hands with soap and warm water after handling raw pork. Do not rub your eyes, touch your mouth, or nose after handling raw pork until you have thoroughly washed your hands with soap and water.
So how did you do on that one?
Let’s move on to question #2
Question 2: There is only One swine flu virus (True/False)
Answer: According to information available…
Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza in pigs. Swine flu viruses cause high levels of illness and low death rates in pigs. Swine influenza viruses may circulate among swine throughout the year, but most outbreaks occur during the late fall and winter months similar to outbreaks in humans. The classical swine flu virus (an influenza type A H1N1 virus) was first isolated from a pig in 1930.
Like all influenza viruses, swine flu viruses change constantly. Pigs can be infected by avian influenza and human influenza viruses as well as swine influenza viruses. When influenza viruses from different species infect pigs, the viruses can re-assort (i.e. swap genes) and new viruses that are a mix of swine, human and/or avian influenza viruses can emerge. Over the years, different variations of swine flu viruses have emerged. At this time, there are four main influenza type A virus subtypes that have been isolated in pigs: H1N1, H1N2, H3N2, and H3N1. However, most of the recently isolated influenza viruses from pigs have been H1N1 viruses.
Since swine flu viruses change constantly (as do normal human flu viruses), obviously there are more than one.
Question 3: Aside from the Spanish Flu in 1918 there has never been another flu pandemic (True/False)
Answer: 1889, 1918, 1957 and 1968 all saw flu pandemics. And from the National Institute of Health
“Spanish flu” H1N1
The most devastating flu pandemic in recent history, killing more than 500,000 people in the United States, and 20 million to 50 million people worldwide.
“Asian flu” H2N2
First identified in China, this virus caused roughly 70,000 deaths in the United States during the 1957-58 season. Because this strain has not circulated in humans since 1968, no one under 30 years old has immunity to this strain.
“Hong Kong flu” H3N2
First detected in Hong Kong, this virus caused roughly 34,000 deaths in the United States during the 1968-69 season. H3N2 viruses still circulate today.
Four soldiers in a US army base in New Jersey are infected with swine influenza, resulting in one death.
1977 Appearance of a new influenza strain in humans
“Russian flu” H1N1
Isolated in northern China, this virus was similar to the virus that spread before 1957. For this reason, individuals born before 1957 were generally protected; however children and young adults born after that year were not because they had no prior immunity.
1997 Appearance of a new influenza strain in humans
The first time an influenza virus was found to be transmitted directly from birds to people, with infections linked to exposure to poultry markets. Eighteen people in Hong Kong were hospitalized, six of whom died.
1999 Appearance of a new influenza strain in humans
Appeared for the first time in humans. It caused illness in two children in Hong Kong, with poultry being the probable source.
2002 Appearance of a new influenza strain in humans
Evidence of infection is found in one person in Virginia following a poultry outbreak.
2003 Appearance of a new influenza strain in humans
Caused two Hong Kong family members to be hospitalized after a visit to China, killing one of them, a 33-year-old man. (A third family member died while in China of an undiagnosed respiratory illness.)
In the first reported cases of this strain in humans, 89 people in the Netherlands, most of whom were poultry workers, became ill with eye infections or flu-like symptoms. A veterinarian who visited one of the affected poultry farms died.
Caused a person to be hospitalized in New York.
Caused illness in one child in Hong Kong.
2004 Appearance of a new influenza strain in humans
Caused illness in 47 people in Thailand and Vietnam, 34 of whom died. Researchers are especially concerned because this flu strain, which is quite deadly, is becoming endemic in Asia.
Is reported for the first time in humans. The strain caused illness in two poultry workers in Canada.
Is reported for the first time in humans. It caused illness in two infants in Egypt. One child’s father is a poultry merchant.
The first case of human infection with H5N1 arises in Cambodia in February. By May, WHO reports 4 Cambodian cases, all fatal. Indonesia reports its first case, which is fatal, in July. Over the next three months, 7 cases of laboratory-confirmed H5N1 infection in Indonesia, and 4 deaths, occur.
On December 30, WHO reports a cumulative total of 142 laboratory-confirmed cases of H5N1 infection worldwide, all in Asia, with 74 deaths. Asian countries in which human infection with H5N1 has been detected: Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and China.
In early January, two human cases of H5N1 infection, both fatal, are reported in rural areas of Eastern Turkey, while cases in China continues to spread. As of January 25, China reports a total of 10 cases, with 7 deaths. On January 30, Iraq reports its first case of human H5N1 infection, which was fatal, to the WHO.
In March, the WHO confirmed seven cases of human H5N1 infection, and five deaths, in Azerbaijan. In April, WHO confirmed four cases of human H5N1 infection, and two fatalities, in Egypt.
In May, the WHO confirmed a case of human H5N1 infection in the African nation of Djibouti. This was the first confirmed case in sub-Saharan Africa. Throughout 2006, 115 human cases of H5N1 infection occur, with 79 deaths.
In early January, two human cases of H5N1 are confirmed in Indonesia. By the end of 2007, 88 confirmed cases occur in Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan and Vietnam, with 59 deaths.
In May, four cases of H7N7 avian influenza were confirmed in the United Kingdom among individuals exposed to infected poultry.
On May 28, Bangladesh reports its first case of human H5N1 infection to the WHO. By the end of the year, 40 cases are confirmed in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Indonesia and Vietnam.
On January 7, Indonesia confirmed a new case of human infection with H5N1 influenza. Since that time, new cases have been identified in Egypt, China, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Appearance of a new influenza strain in humans
In April, human infection with a new strain of H1N1 influenza is confirmed in Mexico. Within weeks, human infections spread to the United States and cases begin occurring in other regions around the world.
So as you can see there have been quite a few.
Question 4: 2009 is the first time Swine Flu has shown up in people. (True/False)
Answer: False Swine flu first appeared or was named as swine flu in 1930. Since that time pig farmers regularly catch swine flu.
Question 5: I can take take drugs to immunize myself from swine flu. (True/False)
Answer: False. At present there is no way to immunize yourself. Remember… Like all influenza viruses, swine flu viruses change constantly. And the current vaccines do not work on this strain of swine flu.
I know… you were wondering “So What Can I Do To Protect Myself?” Have no fear… we will show you some common sense things you can do that take a few seconds.
But let’s continue…
Question 6: If I get swine flu I will die. (True/False)
Answer: True… the way the question was asked. But if you drink a glass of water you will die.
The right way to ask the question is “If I get swine flu I will die from swine flu”
The answer is FALSE.
Getting swine flu does not mean you will die from swine flu. So if you do happen to catch swine flu, get plenty of rest, see your doctor, and drink lots of fluids. Do everyone a favor and wear a surgical mask… the disposable kind and throw them away when they are used. And do not go out into the public while you are fighting it off and for at least seven days after you have recovered because you will be infectious.
Question 7: If I touch someone who has swine flu I will automatically get it. (True/False)
Answer: No you will not automatically get it. And if you follow precautions posted by the CDC for people caring for people with swine flu you can give yourself more protection.
- Avoid being face-to-face with the sick person.
- When holding small children who are sick, place their chin on your shoulder so that they will not cough in your face.
- Clean your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub after you touch the sick person or handle used tissues, or laundry.
- Caregivers might catch flu from the person they are caring for and then the caregiver might be able to spread the flu to others before the caregiver shows symptoms. Therefore, the caregiver should wear a mask when they leave their home to keep from spreading flu to others in case they are in the early stages of infection.
- Talk to your health care provider about taking antiviral medication to prevent the caregiver from getting the flu.
Especially numbers 2 and 3
Question 8: The symptoms of swine flu are the same as standard flu. (True/False)
Answer: True and there are some additional symptoms.
The symptoms of novel influenza A (H1N1) aka Swine Flu virus
in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu.
Swine influenza A virus infection (swine flu) can cause a wide range of symptoms, including fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. People with swine flu also can have vomiting and diarrhea. Like seasonal flu, swine flu in humans can vary in severity from mild to severe. Severe disease with pneumonia, respiratory failure and even death is possible with swine flu infection. Certain groups might be more likely to develop a severe illness from swine flu infection, such as persons with chronic medical conditions. Sometimes bacterial infections may occur at the same time as or after infection with influenza viruses and lead to pneumonia’s, ear infections, or sinus infections.
Here is what the CDC has to say…
The novel influenza A (H1N1) virus that has infected humans in the United States and other countries, including Mexico, is a new H1N1 virus that has not previously been identified in North America or anywhere in the world.
Question 9: The Human flu and swine flu are the same flu. (True/False)
Answer: False. According to the CDC… Human and swine flu viruses are different. People who get vaccinated for human flu can still get sick from swine flu. Pigs that have been vaccinated for swine flu can still get sick from human flu.
Question 10: There is nothing I can do to protect myself other than lock myself in my house and have no direct contact with any person. (True/False)
What You Can Do to Stay Healthy
- Protect Your passageways from getting infected.
- Influenza (including swine flu) is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
The main way that influenza viruses are thought to spread is from person to person in respiratory droplets of coughs and sneezes. This can happen when droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person are propelled through the air and deposited on the mouth or nose of people nearby. Influenza viruses may also be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets on another person or an object and then touches their own mouth or nose (or someone else’s mouth or nose) before washing their hands.
Simple Everyday Actions You Can Do To Stay Healthy.
- 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 hands cleaners are also effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
- Stay home if you get sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
- Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
- Keep Yourself Informed. – Since this is rapidly evolving. More and new information is being discovered every day.
Take herbs and substances known to boost immune systems.
- Flavonoids – you get in fresh fruits and vegetables
- Andrographis (Kan Jang)
- Beta glucan
- Cat’’s Claw
- Olive leaf extract
- Siberian Ginseng
- Vitamin C
- Zinc mineral
- Make sure to take probiotics specifically Acidophilus (necessary for your digestive system to function and also shown to improve your immune system. Note: be careful to make sure they are live and not heat treated. Heat kills Acidophilus bacteria.
Question 11: Since vaccinations for diseases are based on the theory of injecting some of the virus (though it’s dead) into the human body, the body learns how to defend against the live virus. So I should go out now, find someone who has the swine flu and get myself infected on purpose so I will be protected later. (True/False)
Answer: While this may sound logical… it’s not worth the risk.
First, like all flu viruses, the swine flu virus is constantly mutating. So even though you may build up a protection to this variant, it may not be effective against the next one.
Do you really want to lay sick in bed suffering needlessly for days when you don’t have to?
Do you want to run the risk of pneumonia and perhaps harming your respiratory system for the rest of your life?
I thought not.
Question 12: If I get swine flu what should I do?
Check with your health care provider…
- About any special care they might need if they are pregnant or have a health condition such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, or emphysema
- Check with your health care provider about whether they should take antiviral medications
Get medical care right away if you:
- Have difficulty breathing or chest pain
- Have purple or blue discoloration of the lips
- Are vomiting and unable to keep liquids down
- Have signs of dehydration such as dizziness when standing, absence of urination, or in infants, a lack of tears when they cry
- Have seizures (for example, uncontrolled convulsions)
- Are less responsive than normal or become confused
Protecting the rest of your household:
- Keep away from other people as much as possible
- Remember to cover your coughs, and clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub often, especially after coughing and/or sneezing.
- Have everyone in the household clean their hands often, using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub frequently, including after every contact with the sick person or the person’s room or bathroom.
- Use paper towels for drying hands after hand washing or dedicate cloth towels to each person in the household. Consider using different colored towels for each person.
- Avoid visitors other than caregivers. A phone call is safer than a visit.
- If possible, have only one adult in the home take care of the sick person.
- Avoid having pregnant women care for the sick person. (Pregnant women are at increased risk of influenza-related complications and immunity can be suppressed during pregnancy).
- All persons in the household should clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
- Stay in a room separate from the common areas of the house. (For example, a spare bedroom with its own bathroom, if that’s possible.) Keep the sickroom door closed.
- Unless necessary for medical care, persons with the flu should not leave the home when they have a fever or during the time that they are most likely to spread their infection to others (at the current time, CDC believes that this virus has the same properties in terms of spread as seasonal flu viruses. With seasonal flu, studies have shown that people may be contagious from one day before they develop symptoms to up to 7 days after they get sick. Children, especially younger children, might potentially be contagious for longer periods).
- If persons with the flu need to leave the home (for example, for medical care), they should cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing and wear a loose-fitting (surgical) mask if available.
- Have the sick person wear a surgical mask if they need to be in a common area of the house near other persons.
- If possible, sick persons should use a separate bathroom. This bathroom should be cleaned daily with household disinfectant
- If possible, consideration should be given to maintaining good ventilation in shared household areas (e.g., keeping windows open in restrooms, kitchen, bathroom, etc.).
Use these easy to do common sense things and you will protect yourself.
There is no need for you to spend exorbitant amounts of money for a “Swine Flu Survival Guide” or some miracle cure, etc.
Basically, keep yourself clean, your area clean, and protect your nasal, eyes, and mouth passageways from moisture droplets spewn about when someone sneezes or coughs. And wash your hands with soap and water a lot.