knittingknots (knittingknots) wrote,

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Watching and thinking about the Flu

Been watching some of the reaction to the swine flu outbreak...cases in California, Texas, Kansas and possibly NY. There's a lot of talk, some of it conspiracy theory going around.

So far today, I've heard that the Mexico flu outbreak has killed hundreds, but the government there isn't admitting it (rumor), that it is a bioterror attack by our enemies to test the president's administration, that it was created to boost the sales of Tamiflu, that it is a plot to give the US military a "vacination" that will render them too ill to fight. I am sure, if I keep looking, I'll find even more.

People who don't understand how flu mutates were surprised that the flu bug has genetics from swine and bird flus, but that's not unusual; the flu cooks, so to say, in an area where ducks, pigs and humans live in close proximity, and cross infect each other. The CDC was surprised that we saw the first major outbreak of this strain took place in Mexico and not in Asia, but then who knows where the initial carrier was from.

But the intersting thing in my social scientist's mind is the panic. They are calling it a pandemic already, and visions of 1918 are dancing in some folks' minds.

I don't know if it'll be a 1918 flu, but I've done what I can and will do what I can.

But the CDC has these good guidelines which are useful:

Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people. There are many things you can to do preventing getting and spreading influenza:
There are everyday actions people can take 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.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
  • If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

Tags: rl
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