Don’t Panic : Seven Facts About ‘Swine Flu’

Swine Flu scare: a man wears a mask upon arrival at Gatwick airport in London on a flight from Mexico City. Photo by Dan Kitwood / Getty Images.

Your best defense — your only real defense in any flu season — is a bulletproof immune system.

By Janet Gilles / The Rag Blog / April 30, 2009

With all the sensationalized news about the so-called swine flu flying
around, I figured we’d better set all the facts straight.

1. So far, only 82 cases of so-called swine flu have been definitively identified worldwide, mostly in Mexico (26 confirmed, 7 deaths) and the U.S.(with 40 confirmed, no deaths). (Though about 1600 suspected cases,including 159 deaths, are reported in Mexico.) That does not add up to a pandemic swine flu outbreak.

2. This virus has nothing to do with swine. In fact, it hasn’t been seen in a single animal. And you can’t possibly get it from eating pork.

3. No existing vaccines can prevent this new flu strain. So no matter what you hear — even if it comes from your doctor — don’t get a regularflu shot. They rarely work against seasonal flu… and certainly can’t offer protection from a never-before-seen strain.

4. Speaking of this strain, it doesn’t seem to have come on naturally. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this particular strain has never before been seen in pigs or people. And according to Reuters, the strain is a “genetic mix”of swine, avian and human flu. Was it created in a lab? We don’t know yet.

5. The drug companies are getting excited… and that’s never a good thing. According to the Associated Press at least one financial analyst estimates up to $388 million worth of Tamiflu sales in the near future –- and that’s without a pandemic outbreak.

6. Let’s not forget that Tamiflu comes with its own problems, including side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, fatigue, cough… the very symptoms you’re trying to avoid. And let’s notforget that Japan banned this drug for children back in 2007, after links to suicidal behavior.

7. Vaccines for this flu strain probably won’t have to jump through all those annoying hurdles like clinical trials for safety and effectiveness. That won’t, however, stop the government from mandating the vaccine for all of us — a very likely scenario. And if the vaccines are actually harmful… killing people, for example…the vaccine makers will be immune from lawsuits.

Your best defense — your only real defense in any flu season — is a bulletproof immune system.

The Rag Blog

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3 Responses to Don’t Panic : Seven Facts About ‘Swine Flu’

  1. Anonymous says:

    THANKS TO JANET FOR A REASONED, INFORMATIVE POST. I WISH YOUR CCOMMENTS COULD REPLACE SENSATIONALIST ARTICLES IN THE PRESS & YOUR VOICE COULD REPLACE THAT OF THE TALKING HEADS ON TV NEWS.

  2. Got that right. However, the filth found at not only the pig farms and cattle farms, draws flies and creates a hot-bed for disease to develop; those working in those conditions then become infected, and ‘pass them on’.

    I grew up on both a beef-breeding farm and pig farm as well as a sizeable poultry farm, so it was pretty common for not only all of us kids, but our parents – hired hands, etc., to get sick.

    My grandfather nearly died from tainted milk that we got from our cows. It was a constant battle to have the live-stock checked for any illness; the manure piles were all around, and flies hovered over this ‘dung and poop’. Of course we kids would run around barefoot in the summer; running through the barn-yards, and gathering eggs while often stepping in this manure.

    Ours was 1,000 acres; however, nowadays it is many more acres of land committed to the production of live-stock used for consumption and providing milk/eggs, etc.

    It’s very likely many people who’ve become sick didn’t take the proper precautions to make sure they didn’t infect others when they became sick.

    We’ve been able to trace my contraction of this flu’ to my oldest son – he and his wife visited from Ohio on April 8 and 9. Because we sampled appetizers; shared some of the soup he ordered, and he had some of my salad; handing the foods back and forth and not knowing that either of us were going to become sick (his was confirmed on 4/24; mine on 4/27), we don’t know if it was due to the lack of cleanliness by the kitchens who prepared our meals; the waiter and waitresses that served us, or even if the tables had been cleaned properly where someone else might have eaten, and been carrying the virus.

    Nothing much a person can do but ‘ride it out’….and the more you travel (which we do a lot), eating in public places; using public rest-rooms, etc., all make a person more vulnerable.

    At least today I noticed some improvement from 6 days ago when I ran the temperature; vomitting – chills, aches – sneezing and sore throat….so I’d say it lasts about 10 days and you just tough it out with a light diet; lots of sleep – up your dosage of Vitamin “C” and Vitamin “D” – plenty of fluids, and take a pain reliever to help with the discomfort.

    I don’t see this as a pandemic, but just ‘hype’ – and it’s certain I’ll never allow anyone to mandate an innoculation for me….this is still a free country, and I’d leave this country before I’d succumb to such a ridiculous decree. I doubt our president would allow this to happen anyway.

  3. This article pretty much puts it into perspective:

    Swine Flu Should Be The Least Of Our Concerns.
    By david on world clock

    Unfortunately people only start to panic when something like this might directly affect them, which is why we normally don’t worry about the fact that millions of people die from conditions like starvation every year – we don’t see it. We don’t

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