Posts Tagged ‘Influenza’

Swine Flu Update: September 24

September 24, 2009

Influenza loves crowds, and H1N1 has (literally) found a captive audience:  Two prisoners in the Federal Penitentiary in Memphis, Tennessee have the Swine Flu. Obviously the prison has been quarantined and the two prisoners segregated from the rest of the population. Prisons are very good at implementing their Lockdown procedures during times of unrest; so hopefully they can overcome this.

There are new cases of H1N1 in Iran, and half of those are from people returning from their pilgrimage to Mecca. The Iranian government recently banned its citizens from going to Mecca this year. The airport in Cairo, Egypt is gearing up to screen their returning citizens in an effort to mitigate H1N1. At least the people who rent private jets are happy!

Health Canada had a whopper of a faux pas this week when they sent relief supplies to reservations in Manitoba: Inside the crate were hand sanitizer, face masks… and body bags! The local authorities are quite upset, as you might imagine. To make it even worse, a manufacturer of body bags told the Ottawa Citizen that sales are up. I can understand making plans for what to do if the worst happens, but do you have to go out and brag about it? Remember the World War II slogan: Loose Lips Sink Ships! or in this case, panic the people.

There is good news – The Centers for Disease Control recently conducted tests in which they injected H1N1 and H5N1 (the Bird Flu) into ferrets. The two diseases did not combine – good news, since H1N1 spreads easier but H5N1 is more lethal. Flu of all types is still unpredictable, but it seems the two can’t be forced upon one another. CDC has revised its guidelines on flu symptoms and when you should seek treatment (as you see more cases, you learn more about how to deal with it) and a nasal spray vaccine will be available the first week of October. It is not recommended for those of us with “heart disease” so I don’t know about CHDers, but I’m betting we’ll have to wait for the shots. But if you are the parent of a medically fragile child and you are healthy, it could be worthwhile to pursue the early inoculation.

As always, it is best to stay calm and watch/read as much news as you can. Find sources outside of your home country, as they often have a different perspective you may not have considered. And I still personally feel that getting the H1N1 shot is very important.

Swine Flu Update: September 8

September 8, 2009

We can be pretty stupid at times.

The Centers for Disease Control H1N1 Flu website states, “Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.” Yet where will a good number of Americans be this fall? Here, or someplace similar.

Don’t fool yourself, this isn’t a healthy place to be. Washington State University has 2,000 students down with H1N1. Emory University has 50 students sick; they have re-opened a closed dorm and reassigning sick students there until they feel better. They are getting delivered meals, Tamiflu twice a day, and not allowed to go to class. Washington State has no Quarantine procedure in place… so the Swine Flu may be three seats to your left at the football game next Saturday.

Communicable diseases like the flu love crowds. The United States Department of Defense plans to inoculate the entire military and airlines are hiding the pillows and blankets they usually distribute to customers. The last time I flew, First Class passengers found a shrink wrapped blanket waiting in their seat. Those of us in the back of the cabin had to make do with four inches less legroom and only one package of pretzels.

I’m going to be getting my flu shots this fall, that’s for certain. And I think I’ll watch all of my football on TV!