This NEEDLESS Fear Over The Swine Flu

@pyewacket (43958)
United States
April 29, 2009 7:40pm CST
Okay I just have to rattle off some ideas about the recent "pandemic" swine flu frenzy that of course everyone is talking about. I'm giving some facts and figures here, but I'm also voicing my own opinions about this Swine Flu business. As many know the Center For Disease Control (CDC) just raised the "rating" of the seriousness of this swine flu to rating of five (out of six). Health officials are calling this a "pandemic". Oh? Yes, the initial spot of where it first occurred and they are calling it "ground zero" where most of the outbreaks are but has now spread worldwide. Many of the US and world cases, which are for the most part milder, were a result of people having recently traveled to Mexico, bringing the "bug" back with them. But to call it an outright pandemic? First lets get some of our facts straight. So far, the sum total of people that have been affected by this swine flu worldwide has been under 1,000. Let's look at history for a moment. In 1918, there truly WAS a worldwide pandemic of the Spanish flu, a strain of the H1N1 virus, which ironically, the swine flu is a mutated form of it---The Spanish flu lasted from 1918 to 1920 and in that time some 20 to 100 MILLION people died from it. What one has to remember, was ANTIBIOTICS DIDN'T EXIST in those days, in fact antibiotics, the first being of the penicillin type weren't developed until 1929. Had antibiotics been around during the Spanish Flu period, the millions upon millions of deaths may not have occurred. Today, we not only have the penicillin type antibiotics, but other forms, making any viral disease almost a thing of the past, or at least curable. The MAIN problem however, is the antibacterial/antiviral frenzy WE have created with all those lotions, soaps, etc, that may in fact, have been instrumental in creating antibiotic resistant strains of any viruses or bacteria, in other words causing the superbugs. Yes, maybe we should be concerned about the swine flu outbreak...but in my mind it's hardly of pandemic proportions given the statistics of the Spanish Flu. Do you want more statistics??? While the media is going ga-ga reporting the swine flu, when was the last time you heard about the statistics about TB (tuberculoses)? Here are the facts: [i]"In 2008, a total of 12,898 incident tuberculosis (TB) cases were reported in the United States; the TB rate declined 3.8% from 2007 to 4.2 cases per 100,000 population, the lowest rate recorded since national reporting began in 1953. " "Among U.S.-born persons, the number and rate of TB cases continued to decline in 2008. The number of TB cases in U.S.-born persons 5,283." "Among foreign-born persons in the United States, both the number and rate of TB cases declined in 2008. A total of 7,541 TB cases were reported among foreign-born persons" [/i] ( http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_cases_of_tuberculosis_are_reported_each_year_in_the_US ) These statistics are just for the US alone....yet it's estimated that TB kills 2 MILLION people worldwide each year, so why isn't the media going ga-ga with this info? Also, TB is far more deadly of a disease What makes me laugh, that as part of the media frenzy about the so-called swine flu "pandemic" one sees how the pharmaceutical companies are having a field day producing the Tamiflu medication like crazy--methinks a conspiracy here???--also did you know that many of the symptoms that swine flu has, Tamiflu can create? Here are these facts about Tamiflu and the side effects: [i]Remember, Tamiflu went through some rough times not too long ago, as the dangers of this drug came to light when, in 2007, the FDA finally began investigating some 1,800 adverse event reports related to the drug. Common side effects of Tamiflu include: * Nausea * Vomiting * Diarrhea * Headache * Dizziness * Fatigue * Cough [/i] http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/04/29/Swine-Flu.aspx So yes, while many of us should be concerned, I don't think we need to lock ourselves in our homes, wear masks, or wash our hands every five seconds--just the NORMAL hygienic practices we've been doing all along. We are after all surrounded by germs, viruses, and bacteria EVERY SINGLE DAY of our lives. Our bodies do have wonderful immune systems to ward off many germs...if that weren't so, we all probably would have died long time ago and become an extinct species. Okay this is my take on it...how about you? Do you think the media is blowing this whole thing out of proportion? Sources of some info from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1918_flu_pandemic http://www.textbookofbacteriology.net/resantimicrobial.html (Warning: NOT a referral links but to info on Spanish flu, swine flu, Tamiflu and antibiotics)
11 people like this
34 responses
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
30 Apr 09
Just an fyi from your friendly neighborhood biologist. Antibiotics don't work against virus, only bacteria based diseases. Luckily the Swine Flu is responding to the anti-virals that we have now.
4 people like this
@pyewacket (43958)
• United States
30 Apr 09
Hi neighborhood biologist.. From what I read about Spanish Flu though, it wasn't so much the "flu" that killed people but the staph infection that often resulted from it, and I'm guessing (guessing mind you) that in the case of the deaths now from the swine flu it may also be a result of a further staph infection...in that case, antibiotics do work...but in the Spanish flu days they didn't have them. Also, the Tamilflu stuff...doesn't that have to be taken within the first 48 hours of diagnosis of the swine flu???
3 people like this
@GardenGerty (156328)
• United States
30 Apr 09
You are right about the limits of the antivirals. You have to take them early on to be at all effective. In the long run it shortens the duration of symptoms about one day. I am not buying it.
2 people like this
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
30 Apr 09
Hey, now I spent 8 years of my life getting this masters of biology. Ya'll gotta let me trot it out every now and again. Plus the whole treating a virus with an antibiotic is one of my biologist's pet peeves. That doesn't do anything but lead to antibiotic resistance. But I did a little searching and you are right it wasn't the flu per se that killed people in 1918 it was secondary bacterial pneumonia that did them in and antibiotics would have helped.
4 people like this
@marguicha (213221)
• Chile
30 Apr 09
Hi twin soul, It seems that humankind need to worry too much with things that are not that important in order to evade the real problems we have. This is another of the things blown out of proportion. I have a one person campaign agains people who are against smokers. I quit smoking because I can´t afford them but my lungs are beautiful after smoking for 50 years. They are all scapegoats to take the mind off violence, hathred, hunger. Hunger is killing more people than any illness. In many countries (US too) food is thrown away and burned to keep prices from going down. Yet have you seen those pictures of children in Asia and Africa? I´m ugly enough to make myself more ugly wearing a mask Loved your post
4 people like this
@rebelann (110392)
• El Paso, Texas
5 Apr 20
And we did again in 2020.
@xParanoiax (6987)
• United States
30 Apr 09
This virus does have potential to be dangerous for everyone, but right now...those with good immune systems...or just halfway decent ones, and clean living conditions, should be fine. So yes, by all means, we should be concerned and aware. But that doesn't mean we need to freak out. Freaking out does a ton more damage than NOT freaking out does.
3 people like this
@pyewacket (43958)
• United States
30 Apr 09
Yes freaking out can have the potential of more harm than good. Yes any virus has the potential of being dangerous, especially if it mutates, but then viruses/bacteria are mutating all the time
1 person likes this
@russso (1693)
• Philippines
30 Apr 09
Paranoiax.... You are sooo right! I think that's what everyone should know. We should all be aware, but not freak out. I agree that the freaking out thing is not helping.
2 people like this
@magrylouyu (1627)
• United States
30 Apr 09
I think it is being taken a little out of porportion. I live in NH and there are cases in MA and ME. Luckly there havent been many deaths in the US. I am a little nervous but not to the effect where I'm going to lock myself, husband and children indoors for the remainder of the time, until this is cleared up. I just hope that they get this whole thing cleared up quickly as there have been almost 200 deaths. I am just keeping myself updated. :) Thank you for all the information that I certianly didnt know about.
3 people like this
@pyewacket (43958)
• United States
30 Apr 09
I guess maybe the news media is having slow days/nights so they have nothing else to "pick" on to talk about...LOL. I read/heard that even here in America people are buying out the masks to wear as a "just in case thing"---what most people don't know those masks are only really effective for a few hours
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Apr 09
From what I heard was that Level 5 was "pandemic immenent" with Level 6 being "pandemic". While I think that the news media may be overdoing it (May is a sweeps month), I would rather the media cover this story than try to play it down. So far, I think that normal hygiene should be preventive enough, although it wouldn't hurt to wash your hands a little more frequently. And now I've just heard that there has been 13,000 deaths from the 'normal' seasonal flu this year, yet we haven't heard a whisper about it until now. What I am concerned with is the fact that this is a mutation of the strain causing the 1918 - 1920 pandemic. And we really don't know what this mutation is going to cause, therefore a little more caution is warranted.
3 people like this
@pyewacket (43958)
• United States
30 Apr 09
You're right I didn't hear about the 13,000 deaths from the "normal" flu...was this worldwide? As for now, yup--maybe the news is slow now and the media has to grasp at something to report about
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Apr 09
pye, I was watching Brian Williams on NBC "Nightly News", and when he reported that fact,and to my chagrin, I missed the reference as to it being just in the USA or worldwide. As I got up this morning, I see that the number of states with confirmed cases nearly doubled (from 6 to 11), and number of cases from 60 to 109, all just in 12 hours. On the upside, Mexico is claiming a leveling off of the spread of the swine flu, although, according to Associated Press, WHO is stating they do not have concrete evidence of a leveling off of the disease. For Mexico, the worst may be over, and since it seems to have happened fairly quickly, I think that the feared pandemic will not happen.
2 people like this
30 Apr 09
Hi pye, It certainly bringing panic around the world and one little girl has already caught it and a 41 years old woman, and yes people are getting scared and the goverment is calling a high alert, people will be people and will panic. Bright Blessings. Tamara
@pyewacket (43958)
• United States
30 Apr 09
I think we should only have a genuine panic though only if millions are affected by the flu...not just a handful, don't you?
2 people like this
@russso (1693)
• Philippines
30 Apr 09
Hi Tamara. I've not been scared of these outbreaks until the news about the Swine Flu. I've heard about SARS and Bird Flu before, but this one seems to be "more outrageous". I do not like the panic that it's caused everywhere. Each time I switch from one channel to another, they're always talking about the virus. Pye, thank you so much for the info that you shared. It IS great to read about the same subject, but in a different light. It sorta brings hope. I really appreciate it. I do agree with you that the numbers right now don't come at par with the figures of the Spanish Influenza cases. It makes me think that in some way, it's being exaggerated.
2 people like this
30 Apr 09
Hi russso, There is no need to panic but there are more people in the UK have caught it, there are lots of holiday makers that are coming back from Mexico, that is the problem, all we have to do is kepp our selfves clean and wash hands often. Tamara
2 people like this
@Aussies2007 (5336)
• Australia
30 Apr 09
I don't know... When you have a highly contagious virus killing people... There is cause for concern. Sure... if you are an healthy person between the age of 15 and 55... Chances are that your immune system will be strong enough to fight it off. But if you are a young child... or over 70... there is a real risk to your life. And a large portion of the population is in that age bracket. When it comes to health matters... Prevention is always better than the cure. I don't enjoy catching any type of flu. Much less a deadly one.
2 people like this
@TLChimes (4822)
• United States
30 Apr 09
well said!
1 person likes this
@moondancer (7433)
• United States
30 Apr 09
Wow, this was great reading material. I for one and I'm sure many others appreciate the time you took to put this all into prospective. I really hate how the media is so one sided and just love to report just how dire things are. That's all they say. And other countries such as Eygpt I believe it is, they are going to kill thousands of pigs because of this. It's crazy and they go over board because of media making it such a bad thing. Some of us are a bit scared of these type of things and some of us are very scared of these things popping up. I for one am of the lessor scared. Thank you for putting it all into prospective. I must stress that people should not rush to the ER with concerns. Jamming up the Er is not a good thing. Your regular family doctor is perfect to go to if you are worried that what you have is more than a cold or the flu.
2 people like this
• United States
3 May 09
it's very stupid pye. This may be part of the reason they changed to name, so many misconceptions about the disease and the name.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43958)
• United States
2 May 09
Yes, I even started a discussion how Egypt is going to kill some 300,000 pigs, and they don't even have one case of flu there so how stupid is that?
1 person likes this
@blackbriar (9078)
• United States
30 Apr 09
Like many other things, I'm not worried or even talk about this Swine flu thing. I've learned some time ago that if you stop worrying about the small things, you don't end up stressed out to the extreme. You can't stop the Swine flu. Your gonna get it if it's meant to be. Just like the West Nile Virus. I'm not one to douse myself in repellent or become a hermit so as not to get bit by a skeeter. It didn't scare me either. Some people are still frantic over that and I just look at them like they are nuts.
2 people like this
• United States
3 May 09
lol Maybe he did get bit but not with an infected skeeter. I just bought several pkgs. of Mosquito Dunks to put in the all the standing water around us. Wonder if the woods will ever drain out this year from all the rain we had. I'm even gonna put one in the culvert at end of drive. Need to start nipping those skeeters now before the explosion.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43958)
• United States
3 May 09
Ekk..West Niles virus..I remember that "scare" as well. It did tick me off though, that some years ago, when that virus was in the news, our "lovely" super didn't get rid of the deep puddles of standing water in the back area of the apartment building and you could see mosquitoes flying about in droves. I was hoping he got bit on his...uh...well you know
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Apr 09
i'm not really worried about it,however i may insist my mom wear a mask to the navy hospital when she goes just on general principle.their waiting room seems to be a hotbed of flu,she has gotten sick several times after coming home from there.she's in too bad of shape to fight off a lot of flu strains,not just swine.
2 people like this
• United States
3 May 09
pft..quoted for truth pye,i'll tell you.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43958)
• United States
3 May 09
LOL--as my great-grandmother used to say, if you don't want to get sick stay away from hospitals..LOL
2 people like this
@celticeagle (156308)
• Boise, Idaho
30 Apr 09
I think we have to stay intouch with reality. TB is under control and I would think these people who catch it are in areas where medical protection is not available. I wonder about a conspiracy myself. They want to get that chip in us one way or the other. Our bodies do have wonderul immune systems of that is not compromisedby over use of bacterial hand soaps and such products.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43958)
• United States
30 Apr 09
To quote you: TB is under control and I would think these people who catch it are in areas where medical protection is not available. Not really. I happen to live near a major city hospital....the last year or so of my mother's life when she was in and out of that hospital and it seemed that place was my second address, I got chummy with a lot of the nurses and they said that the highest concentration of TB cases is...yup, in my neighborhood...LOVELY. And worse, one of the times my mother was in the hospital this occurred. I would visit my mother everyday. She shared the room with a roomie. The next day I go to visit and the door to the room was locked and shut and a big sign indicating the only way one could enter was to wear masks...turned out my mother's roomie had TB. My mother wasn't affected NOR was I thank goodness even though we had both been exposed to it. Guess it depends on the strength of one's immune system...and I hadn't had a TB shot in ages.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (156308)
• Boise, Idaho
30 Apr 09
My good grief, I had no idea.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 May 09
rant on sister! I have to agree people are blowing this way out of proportion they are not reading the facts and they are spreading paranoia this is not 1918 we have medicines now we have both preventives as well as cures for this stuff people need to chillax, read the facts and take precautions
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43958)
• United States
1 May 09
The area where I live actually has one of the highest rates of TB cases....I found this out when my mother was alive and in and out of the hospital that got to be my second address there for awhile...it was the nurses that I got to know like a second family told me this..anyway bottom line, with all the diseases and germs that are around us all the time, if one wanted to get paranoid, one would never step out the door....no thanks...I plan to live life as normal as possible without fears or paranoia about this flu business.
@pyewacket (43958)
• United States
1 May 09
• United States
1 May 09
1 person likes this
@TLChimes (4822)
• United States
30 Apr 09
here. I'll take care of it all with a few little words. If you are ill... Go to the doctor. Use common sense... wash your hands, cover your mouth, don't kiss on strangers. OK all better. *pulls up face mask and heads to the bomb shelter*
@pyewacket (43958)
• United States
4 May 09
LOL--Well in my neighborhood, people have forgotten proper courtesy...don't ask how many times I'm sneezed or coughed on just simply walking around in my neighborhood....like sheesh
@TLChimes (4822)
• United States
4 May 09
Um.... outside? where the trees are blooming, flowers are growing and such? Well um.... I'd be sneezing for sure.
• India
30 Apr 09
I think it is being contained well enough and we need not panic too much. But the precautions that are advised are anyway good and can easily be adopted in daily life. And it would make our life more hygienic. So though we should not panic but we must take the precautions to be protected against the flu or for that matter any disease. But unfortunately in this world which has becoming smaller by the day and we can reach any corner of it at wish there has to be some precaution and scanning at different ports of entry. Only that much should be fine. No need to be hyper.
2 people like this
@BarBaraPrz (44999)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
3 May 09
Oh, they'll find something...
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43958)
• United States
3 May 09
From the reports I'm now hearing, the flu outbreak seems to be winding down and there aren't too many more people coming down with it...gee, the news media will be lost and won't know what to report about...LOL
1 person likes this
@hoghoney (3747)
• United States
3 May 09
well what ever is going on out there with this swine flu..just remember that the piggies didnt have anything to do with it.
1 person likes this
@Eskimo (2315)
4 May 09
Actually I'm surprised that Egypt (being a Muslim country) farms pigs anyway.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43958)
• United States
4 May 09
Did you hear that in Egypt they were going to kill off all the pigs there, and there isn't even one case of the flu there...how stupid.
1 person likes this
@cher913 (25782)
• Canada
30 Apr 09
yup, i have been saying this all along. i think the spin doctors are blowing it way out of porportion! even in our local paper, the headlines shout out that i could be a pandemic. be careful what you do, etc. as you pointed out, the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 came about as the boys (and women) fighting in ww1 were leaving europe and going home which caused the virus to spread and of course, there were not anti biotics available. they are already working on making an antibiotic for this and here in canada, the victims of the swine flu have not even had to be hospitalized.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43958)
• United States
3 May 09
They actually keep saying what a mild form of flu this is, but the only reason for so many deaths in Mexico is that the people didn't seek medical help early on at the first symptoms
1 person likes this
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
30 Apr 09
No I don't because it's spreading like wildfire and people like me who have a very low immune system have to know what's going on in the world so we can protect ourselves. As you probably remember, I have lupus, it's an autoimmune disease. I have to use antibacterial this and that in order to stay well because one little germ is all it takes for me to get sick. It seems I'm sick all the dang time anyways but I do get well and when I do, I usually stay that way for a good while, that is, once I kill every deg gone germ in the house by spraying everything and anything in sight. lol However, maybe the media is putting a bit too much into this. I really don't know but it has my attention, no doubt.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43958)
• United States
1 May 09
Well from what I'm hearing now, the whole flu thing seems to be winding down now and no new outbreaks anywhere, not even in Mexico where it originated...good news, right?
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43958)
• United States
2 May 09
Glad you liked the card
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
2 May 09
Good news? That's fantastic news! I've been so busy cleaning my parents house today that I haven't had time to sit down to watch the news but glad you did!! BTW, thank you for the beautiful and very cute card!! Yes it did brighten my day!! It made me smile!
1 person likes this
@Rosekitty (19368)
• San Marcos, Texas
2 May 09
People will believe anything from the news, but if they stopped and figured it out they would realise its just the flu and yes people sometimes get hit harder than others..especially if they live in squaller living conditions...but even though i live in Texas, I know not to worry cause i refuse to be a hermit to the media.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43958)
• United States
4 May 09
This actually does seem to be a milder case of flu, and the only reason for so many deaths in Mexico was that people didn't seek medical help right away
@Rosekitty (19368)
• San Marcos, Texas
4 May 09
Plus alot had water problems so not getting cleaned properly for a length of time doesn't help..especially when a person is sick
1 person likes this
@Raven1 (577)
• Australia
30 Apr 09
The best people to check are paramedics and nurses. My best friend is a nurse. She's not wearing a face mask, which tells me that after handling sick, injured and dying patients all day, she's not worried. Her husband is a paramedic. He says while the paramedics are all on stand-by for a potential break out, even THEY aren't wearing face masks (although all health professionals wear protective gloves). So if the health professionals aren't panicked or ordered to take massive precautions as yet, then keep watching them. When you see the medical professionals start taking precautions - then it's time to think about your own protective needs. Until then, switch off the news. Life's happier that way. (or read Stephen King's 'The Stand' and get some real panic happening LOL)
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43958)
• United States
30 Apr 09
Yup--one only has to watch people in the medical profession to see what's going down. I happened to live a few blocks away from a major city hospital...so if I suddenly see them walking on the streets during their breaks and they were masks then I'll be concerned. Mmmm....how about King's "Cell"----where people become zombie like and cannibalistic from using cell phone...that's even more common to see people with cell phones glued to their ears...LOL
1 person likes this
@krajibg (11923)
• Guwahati, India
3 May 09
Hi there, it was a huge information the much talked about Swine Flu. Leaving aside the data and information I often wonder how come things frog jump every now and then? Just few month back there was mass killing of the birds specially the hens and ducks as they too had flu!!!! My question is can anything pop up like this. Or there is a plot behind the curtain? I can see lots of dirty hair under the carpet.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43958)
• United States
4 May 09
That was silly when you think of it that they killed so many chickens and such..with the Avian Bird Flu...it's been proven one can't get any kind of flu from an animal, whether bird or pig/swine...so a lot of animals were needlessly killed off
1 person likes this
@krajibg (11923)
• Guwahati, India
4 May 09
Thanks a lot for the info
1 person likes this