Swine Flu? Swain Blu? Pan Flute?!

6 05 2009

Ok with all the news of Swin Flu (H1N1) swirling around us recently I figured it might be helpful if I put up some facts (fro the CDC website) to ease those of you who are freaking out. Like the title of this post (which is based off an inside joke between me and my friends), when news spreads, it general becomes contorted. For example the other day i was watching the news and they announced the amount of swine flu cases in my area–several hours later a friend of mine was telling me how this one school had to evacuate and shut down for a week because almost everyone was infected and was leaving their classrooms vomiting. Pretty sight that would be. So ya here are some facts and how to prevent catching it. I look at it this way. I hardly ever get sick, yet as I type this I have a sore throat (Swine flu!?) But don’t freak out if you end up getting it because the chances of you dying (in my mind) are the same as if you got the regular flu. People who unfortunately die  from the flu are either very young or very old, and while it’s odd for Swine Flu to target middle aged kids/adults, they haven’t been dying. but don’t take my word because it’s not scientifically proven (^_^)

Are there human infections with this H1N1 virus in the U.S.?
Yes. Cases of human infection with this H1N1 influenza virus were first confirmed in the U.S. in Southern California and near Guadalupe County, Texas. The outbreak intensified rapidly from that time and more and more states have been reporting cases of illness from this virus. An updated case count of confirmed novel H1N1 flu infections in the United States is kept at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/investigation.htm. CDC and local and state health agencies are working together to investigate this situation.

Is this new H1N1 virus contagious?
CDC has determined that this new H1N1 virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human. However, at this time, it is not known how easily the virus spreads between people.

What are the signs and symptoms of this virus in people?
The symptoms of this new H1N1 flu virus in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with this virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting.  Also, like seasonal flu, severe illnesses and death has occurred as a result of illness associated with this virus.

How severe is illness associated with this new H1N1 virus?
It’s not known at this time how severe this virus will be in the general population. CDC is studying the medical histories of people who have been infected with this virus to determine whether some people may be at greater risk from infection, serious illness or hospitalization from the virus. In seasonal flu, there are certain people that are at higher risk of serious flu-related complications. This includes people 65 years and older, children younger than five years old, pregnant women, and people of any age with chronic medical conditions. It’s unknown at this time whether certain groups of people are at greater risk of serious flu-related complications from infection with this new virus. CDC also is conducting laboratory studies to see if certain people might have natural immunity to this virus, depending on their age.

How does this new H1N1 virus spread?
Spread of this H1N1 virus is thought to be happening in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

How long can an infected person spread this virus to others?
At the current time, CDC believes that this virus has the same properties in terms of spread as seasonal flu viruses. With seasonal flu, studies have shown that people may be contagious from one day before they develop symptoms to up to 7 days after they get sick.  Children, especially younger children, might potentially be contagious for longer periods. CDC is studying the virus and its capabilities to try to learn more and will provide more information as it becomes available.

If we are to assume the worst, I think Walt Disney and Robin Williams are to blame for this

Even while hes frozen in a tube, Walt Disney has the last laugh...