Panic About Swine Flu

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There is much talk lately about the swine influenza that has spread to people in Mexico City and has now shown up in cases in the United States. Over eighty deaths have already been attributed to the pig flu and people are starting to get worried and frenzied about it.

This reminds me of the bird flu panic that was widespread a few years ago from poultry spreading the virus to humans in close contact, there is the potential for this to be a widespread flu but there is a low chance it will be a widespread fatal one as long as proper medical treatment is sought.

The most deadly flu on record was the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 which killed between 20 and 40 million people worldwide, a flu that becomes drug resistant and transmits easily has the potential to be very deadly but this is a very rare occurance. Most flus will leave you just feeling weak, sick and with fever for ten to fourteen days on average.

Still whenever flu’s adapt between species no good can come from it and if you have a flu shot already this year it has no protection against this strain of swine influenza. I will be following the news more closely on this (I am traveling to Cabo on June 1st) so I have some concern about the outbreak.

Meanwhile if you or anyone in your family comes down with flu like symptoms, do not just try to “tough” it out and make sure you take in plenty of fluids, if children get the flu take them to urgent care if they have high fevers and vomiting or diarrhea. You never can be too careful and you want to make sure when these types of things spread the people who suffer the worst are the ones who stay at home and try to “tough out” the illness instead of seeing a doctor.

-Justin Germino

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Updated: April 26, 2009 — 10:41 am