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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Swine Flu is Back

Well it's almost time to send the kiddies back to school and just in time to give us all a serious case of the heebee geebees, a report from the U.S. Presidential advisory group was released today stating that the swine flu a.k.a the H1N1 virus could potentially infect half of the U.S. population during the upcoming fall and winter season.


On average 36,000 Americans die from the seasonal flu every year. Most of these are cases of the elderly, infants/babies or people with existing health issues. Though that number sounds high, because our bodies have no defence against the H1N1 strain, we are at a much higher risk.

According to the Center of Disease Control, 1,500 people have died from the "swine flu" during the Southern Hemisphere's winter months and in the United States between April 15 and July 29th of this year over 43,000 people have fallen ill and 302 have died from the strain.

Now I am not really a fan of the vaccine (I haven't forgotten the Tuskegee Experiment and the FDA is recalling a new drug every time I turn the channel) but the CDC recommends the vaccine as "one way to steer clear" of the H1N1 virus. The only problem with that is the 100 million vaccines needed will not be ready for mid-October, meaning that many people will not be able to get the vaccine at the onset of the season which is best.

So in the meantime if you see me in the streets like this...
don't be surprised!
I was rolling to DC on one of those Chinese buses when the first outbreak happened.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) lists these tips to help keep you swine flu free.

  1. Get a flu vaccine.
  2. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough.
  3. Dispose of each tissue after use.

  4. Wash hands often and when no possible use an alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.

  5. Try to avoid contact with sick people.

  6. If you feel like you might be sick, stay home for at least 24 hours AFTER your fever is gone (without the use of medication).

  7. While you are sick, limit your contact with people as much as possible.
  8. Take anti-viral drugs (if your doctor recommends them) within the first 2 days of you symptoms.

Being in NY, sadly we have a wonderful breading ground for the swine flu and all their germ friends....the subway system! Millions of people in a tunnel with no real ventilation. It's a germs wet dream, so please be careful and think about putting some alcohol in a spray bottle and carrying that with you.

It comes in very handy in plenty of situation but especially when you have to hold a pole on the train.

And if you see a pack of these, N95 masks, on the counter at your local drug store...grab a box or 2. It can't hurt.

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