Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Flu Common Sense

It's me... under that rock again, here in my cave.

Here's some information on Swine Flu from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Here's the CDC page where they are Investigating Human Outbreaks
I have truly just heard about this and paid much attention to it. We don't do TV, and as you can see, I'm rarely online these days, either. Cave and Rock living has its advantages really.

First off, a couple of friends emailed and asked what we are doing in terms of the Swine Flu. LOL...not to make light of it, but at the time, I just laughed and said I have no swine and when we did, they weren't flying. But, honestly, this is just as serious as the SARS pandemic a few years back. It needs to be taken seriously

If you are a homesteader, health nut or a Prepper, you've been preparing for such as this for a long time. You already know what to do...what you should have been doing all along. It's a serious flu, certainly, but it's still the practical common sense things that help prevent it.

WASH YOUR HANDS. Use alcohol-based sanitizer, and THEN wash with soap and water. That sanitizer isn't getting into every crack and crevice on your hands, and most likely you aren't even washing properly in the first place. You should learn how to properly wash, and TEACH YOUR CHILDREN how to do it properly as well. Sing 'Happy Birthday' completely through while washing with the hand sanitizer. Then sing it again while you wash with the soap and water. Goodness, folks, look at how most of us wash our hands every day. Would you want your surgeon to wash that haphazardly before he opened you up? It's called common sense, folks. Use a little of it.

Keep up with the CDC site as far as tracking. Don't trust the mainstream media...they aren't about to start something that might be seen as a "panic" among the populus.

From the World Health Organization - Mexico apparently had cases under surveillance as early as 18 March 2009

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The reason there is growing concern about this at the Centers For Disease Control and the World Health Organization is that this particularly nasty strain is hitting otherwise normal, healthy people - in Mexico those with this illness are sometimes on a respirator within 48-hours of becoming ill. Also, this particular strain is a combination of swine, avian (bird) and human influenza and is a strain that has never before been seen in man or swine - this is something that definitely bears our very close attention.

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WASHINGTON, April 24 (Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday it was too late to contain the swine flu outbreak in the United States.

CDC acting director Dr. Richard Besser told reporters in a telephone briefing it was likely too late to try to contain the outbreak, by vaccinating, treating or isolating people.

"There are things that we see that suggest that containment is not very likely," he said.

Prevention Guidelines from the CDC are at the link.
You might want to consider stocking up on some Vitamin C, masks (N-95 particulate one), fever reducer (tylenol), gloves, over-the-counter and/or homeopathic flu relief medications, bleach and/or other disinfectants for washing clothing, bedding, mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms.

This is also a good time to make sure you have your food and water preps in order just in case you find yourself needing to stay at home for an extended period of time. The best 'plan' would be to figure up 3 months worth of your menu and stock at least those items. Don't forget the fun stuff...Jello, snacks, etc.

Remember any of the past flu outbreaks that made news?

Health officials have been warning that a new strain of influenza that can pass easily from person to person could spark a pandemic, a global epidemic that could kills tens of millions of people. Experts agree another flu pandemic is overdue.

Here are some facts about past flu pandemics and pandemic threats:

* The 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic is the benchmark by which all modern pandemics are measured. Some 20 to 40 percent of the worldwide population became ill and more than 50 million people died. Between September 1918 and April 1919, it killed more than 600,000 people in the United States alone. In a normal flu season, about 36,000 people die in the United States, and 250,000 to 500,000 globally.

* While the very young and the very old are most at risk with seasonal flu, the 1918 pandemic primarily struck young adults. It disrupted the global economy. Many small businesses, which were unable to unable to operate during the pandemic, went bankrupt.

* The virus that caused the 1957 Asian flu pandemic was quickly identified, and vaccines were available by August 1957. The elderly had the highest rates of death. The Asian flu killed 2 million people globally, according to the World Health Organization.

* The 1968 influenza pandemic was first detected in Hong Kong. Those over the age of 65 were most likely to die. It killed an estimated 1 million people globally, according to WHO, making it making the mildest pandemic in the 20th century.

* In 1976, a strain of swine flu started infecting people in Fort Dix, New Jersey, and worried U.S. health officials because the virus was thought to be related to the 1918 Spanish flu virus. Forty million people were vaccinated but the program was halted after several cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a severe and sometimes fatal condition linked to some vaccines, were reported. The virus never moved outside the Fort Dix area.

* H5N1 avian flu is the most recent pandemic threat. It first surfaced in 1997 and continues to infect humans who have direct contact with chickens. The H5N1 or avian influenza virus does not spread easily from one person to another.

* Since 2003, H5N1 virus has infected 421 people in 15 countries and killed 257. It has killed or forced the culling of more than 300 million birds in 61 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

* WHO has six pandemic stages. A full-blown pandemic requires sustained, human-to-human spread over many countries of a new and serious virus.

-- Sources: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; World Health Organization

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