Flu Update: Thursday Evening, May 14

We haven’t heard much from the Swine Flu, A(H1N1), lately. It’s still out there, and we’ve got more resources to track it. Here’s the H1N1 Influenza page from the New England Journal of Medicine. It’s a little heavy on the scientific jargon, but it can be valuable when used with our other flu resources.

Science has an online article about the early lessons we’ve learned from the flu (and they have a good timeline of the outbreak HERE). One really good development has been that most people do not need antiviral medications – you can fight it off with rest and lots of fluids. It seems to be more active than seasonal flu, and compares to the H2N2 virus that caused so much trouble in 1957. China reacted quickly to their first flu cases, and perhaps even overreacted. The Christian Science Monitor has a good article exploring the reasons why.

It’s almost too warm in the Northern Hemisphere for the virus to be able to prosper, and flu season will “end” soon. It won’t really end; the flu will become active in the Southern Hemisphere, where the temperatures are dropping and winter is coming. The news media has pretty much decided that we’re all safe now, and have moved on to the next crisis.

But if H1N1 is going to cause any trouble for the United States next fall, it’ll strengthen in the Southern Hemisphere during our warm months. You’ll notice that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) still has its Flu Page active, and the World Health Organization (WHO) is also watching. Live your life and enjoy the summer, but it would be smart to check the CDC and WHO pages occasionally.

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