September 3, 2009

Back To School For Swine Flu

After the initial scare of H1N1, or Swine flu as it is more commonly known, we all breathed a sigh of relief. However, now with schools opening again, it may be time, once again, to start worrying, at least a little bit.

The virus survived over the entire length of the summer, with no signs that the heat even bothered it. With kids coming back to schools H1N1 might have just found its new breeding ground. Many schools are taking the initiative to prevent a Swine flu outbreak before it occurs, not trying to contain it after it spreads. Kudos to the school’s.

However, there is some potentially good, and bad news. I’ll start with the bad. If the virus mutates like some suspect it will, then many of our children, and even children across the globe, are in great danger come this fall. The good news is, if the disease doesn’t mutate which could be the outcome, then our kids may only face a minimal risk.

Studies suggest that the Swine flu virus may not need to mutate. In a test where both Swine flu and another virus were injected, Swine flu destroyed the other virus instead of merging with it. This could suggest that Swine flu feels superior and genetically does not need to mutate, at least not yet.

Here’s hoping that Swine flu will stay the way it is right now.

April 30, 2009

Swine Flu has it’s Biggest Stake in Young Adults

Swine flu is the virus that has everyone taking extra precautions. Whether it’s lining up at walk-in clinics for a dose of Tamiflu (an anti-viral drug), or wearing mouth masks to reduce the risk of becoming infected, this quick-spreading influenza has confirmed 109 infections as of Thursday April 30, 2009, in the US.

Even though these numbers are continuing to climb, experts have reported that face masks are not necessary at this time and will not decrease your risk of being infected with Swine flu. So forget your plans of running to your nearest hardware store after work to pick up this fashion “faux pas”.

Although there have been past influenza’s that have had a similar effect on the world, like SARS, the Avian flu, and the West Nile Virus, there is one shocking difference between Swine Flu and other previous viruses. On the whole, influenza usually strikes those who are either very old or very young; however, many Swine flu cases have reportedly hit people between the ages of 20 and 40. This is not a definite issue and does not mean if you are a young adult you are going to become infected, though it is important to consider this while considering preventative measures.

One of the reasons for the raised concern among many is the memory of a previous worldwide virus with the same specific characteristic – the frightening Spanish Influenza in 1918, which almost spread throughout the entire world, fatally affecting thousands of people – most of which were young adults. It is not necessary at this point to compare the effects of the Spanish flu to the Swine flu; however it is important to take one minor precaution in order to protect yourself from infection – that is, wash your hands multiple times a day!

Swine flu continues to have an effect on many young people not only by direct infection, but in lesser ways. Many schools in the US have been closed due to the influenza. All school districts in Texas (containing about 80,000 students) were recently shut down due to the confirmed infection in one student. According to other reports, handfuls of other schools all over the US have been closed due to the Swine flu.

It’s not only American students who are suffering from the indirect effects of the endemic. High School band students from Edmonton Canada were immediately called home after landing in Los Angeles for a trip to Disneyland when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a state of emergency in California after the Swine flu outbreak. Although many young students are being deprived of education due to the Swine flu, their health and safety is exceptionally important, and they will remain further protected from the flu until officials feel it is safe for them to return to school.

Information provided on this website is for general purposes only. It is not intended to take the place of advice from your practitioner.

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