Swine flu will it become a pandemic?

South Africa
April 29, 2009 12:39pm CST
I was watching sky news today and I noticed that swine flu is now on a level 4 alert out of 6 and if it reaches 6 it will be labeled as a pandemic. Do you think that this disease will become a pandemic? I hope it does not because it means that many people may die.
2 responses
@owlwings (39232)
• Cambridge, England
29 Apr 09
I believe that we shall see many more instances of this flu. 'Swine flu', by the way, is a name that the media have latched onto. It is a variant of a flu virus that has some characteristics of a flu virus common in pigs (and birds) and has mutated to become infectious to humans. The media couldn't call it 'bird flu' (been there, done that) so it had to be 'swine flu'. It is a new variant of the flu virus that most people don't have immunity to and is therefore likely to make some people seriously ill but it is actually no more virulent or infectious than any seasonal flu virus and, while it might make many people iller than many flu viruses, most people will recover from it. Such new variants occur quite regularly and sometimes are sufficiently different from previous variants to be new enough to our immune system to put it on red alert and make us feel more ill than usual. Already we are only hours or days away from knowing exactly what it is ... once we know that, it will take a little longer to produce an effective vaccine and a little longer still to make the vaccine in sufficient quantities to protect everyone at risk. The essential protective measures are: 1) When in public, wear a mask 2) Wash hands frequently and always before eating 3) Don't eat fast food, sandwiches &c unless you have prepared them yourself 4) Wash vegetables and anything you are going to eat raw 5) Do eat plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit &c and also (if you wish) supplement them with Vitamin C, which can help the immune system.
@owlwings (39232)
• Cambridge, England
29 Apr 09
I left out one important point! If you do feel unwell, don't risk the health of others: Stay at home; do NOT go to work; do NOT go out in public; do NOT go to the doctor's surgery - phone instead so that they can ask the necessary questions before deciding.
@owlwings (39232)
• Cambridge, England
1 May 09
A few more important considerations (from the current recommendations): 1) When you cough or sneeze, use a fresh tissue to cover your mouth and dispose of the tissue and wash your hands immediately. 2) The virus can survive for quite long periods on hard surfaces (but, of course it is not then airborne). Wash hands after touching any hard surfaces, especially in public places, and before putting your hands anywhere near your mouth or nose. 3) So far, cases of the new H1N1 strain outside Mexico have been relatively mild, perhaps because they have mostly received prompt and appropriate treatment. If you do get flu symptoms, stay at home, keep warm (but not too warm), drink plenty of fluids and take the usual medications (ibuprofen, paracetamol/tylenol &c) and advise your doctor. 1000mg doses of Vitamin C daily cannot harm you (unless you are taking something that interferes with it) and it is best taken as 4 doses of 250mg (or 5 of 200mg) through the day. Flu symptoms are due NOT to the virus itself but to the immune system of the body itself going on 'red alert'. In other words, it is a normal and usually beneficial side-effect of the infection. Your duty is to help your immune system cope, so the least stress you can give your body the better. Symptoms of flu will usually last 5 to 7 days. Don't be tempted to cut down on this.
• South Africa
1 May 09
Thank you alot for your insite, I hope other people read what you have typed so that they can also prevent getting it themselves.
@jessi0887 (2794)
• United States
29 Apr 09
I hope it doesn't go that far. I hope they get it under control. I already know what will happen at my home. First my son will have to have someone stay indoors with him at all times. IF I continue to go to work then I will where a mask. I will wash and sanitize everything daily and wash clothes daily. I just hope it doesn't come to this. My son enjoys day care and playing with other kids. I wouldn't want him to go to daycare though if this becomes an epidemic.