Monday, May 04, 2009

Possible Pandemic

You can't go anywhere without hearing something about the Swine Flu. Schools are canceled in our area. Even some churches. On Sunday, our church passed around hand sanitizer like an offering plate. My hairdresser's son has a cold, so she asked if I wanted to cancel my appointment tomorrow. People are really, really freaked out about this.

I was curious about the symptoms and looked up information on the CDC website. Here is what I found:

Common symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, diarrhea, and vomiting. Nearly all persons with flu will have at least two of these symptoms. The high risk groups for novel H1N1 flu are not known at this time but it’s possible that they may be the same as for seasonal influenza. People at higher risk of serious complications from seasonal flu include people age 65 years and older, children younger than 5 years old, pregnant women, people of any age with chronic medical conditions
Antiviral drugs can be given to treat those who become severely ill with influenza. These antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaler) with activity against influenza viruses, including H1N1 flu virus. These medications must be prescribed by a health care professional.

There are two influenza antiviral medications that are recommended for use against H1N1 flu. The drugs that are used for treating H1N1 flu are called oseltamivir (trade name Tamiflu ®) and zanamivir (Relenza ®). As the H1N1 flu spreads, these antiviral drugs may become in short supply. Therefore, the drugs will be given first to those people who have been hospitalized or are at high risk of complications. The drugs work best if given within 2 days of becoming ill, but may be given later if illness is severe or for those at a high risk for complications.

Emergency Warning Signs
If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care.

In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

Fast breathing or trouble breathing
Bluish or gray skin color
Not drinking enough fluids
Severe or persistent vomiting
Not waking up or not interacting
Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
Sudden dizziness
Severe or persistent vomiting
Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

These symptoms sound a lot like January and February at our house. Are you freaked out? Are you hiding out? I'm very curious. And to let you know, I am going to my hair appointment tomorrow. Hope her kid doesn't have the Swine Flu.


Kelleigh said...

Oh my gosh. This whole Swine Flu thing is such a joke! More people die from the regular old flu each year than this Swine Flu. Ridiculous.

Kari said...

Our community has lots of migrant workers which freaked me out for about a day. I thought about stocking up on groceries and "hiding in" for awhile, but that just didn't seem like any fun! All the syptoms seem like regular ol flu to me, which we ALWAYS try to avoid, so...long story short? same ol same ol.

Grace said...

Like my friend said, " I probably won't be exposed to it. If I am, I probably won't catch it. If I do, I probably won't die. If I do, I know where I'm going. I'm not very worried!".

Shawna said...

Yea I am a little freaked out. Working at a community college, when the level was raised from 4 to 5, we had to 'activate' our "plan" (some of which was blank) and they passed out purell/lysol and tissues. I use purell regularly but beefed it up. Low and behold, what happened? I got SICK! Go figure. It is hard to not freak out when all they show are pictures of the millions of people who died in 1918. It is a convenient excuse though to get out of 'social' events at work though because they are encouraging "Social Distancing". That doesn't hurt my feelings one bit! Hard not to worry for the kiddos though, but that isn't new! I had to put Mad in daycare the same week they raised the alert. Such is life.

Melanie said...

Grace - that's fabulous! That pretty much sums up my reaction.
Actually, living in a big city now, I think about such things things slightly more than when we lived on the west coast. You know - when we lived on the west coast, we laughed about terrorism because - what was someone going to do? Blow up ... Safeway? But no one laughs about such things here.

Regarding the swine flu, though, I haven't even overheard people talking about it. Of course, it's probably not a great topic of conversation while you're riding the subway!

Michal said...

this is just another case of flu-blown-out-of proportion. yes, some people have died, but some people die from seasonal flu every year, too (and the flu shot.) doesn't the cdc have better things to do than spend their time and energy recommending that schools close for 14 DAYS and people stay home? so lame.

Lindsay said...

I'm not too worried. I think mom's with little ones are huge hand washers anyway. I know I am. Once I tried to keep track of how many times I washed my hands in a day but lost count after reaching 20. And I always carry purell anyway. Just hoping school doesn't close cause then we have to make up the days! :)

Have fun getting your hair done!

Grandma Sherri said...

Just praying no one brings it to the camp, can you imagine if the health department got involved? Well, they have decided its not such a big deal now and reopening schools. I heard one young lady interviewed on the news and she said by the time they were sure she had swine flu she was well and her symptoms were really mild... Anyway I too loved what Grace said

Kellie said...

I think the level of hysteria is ridiculous. I just don't see the point of holing up in our house with face masks without a serious reason for doing so. The only change I've made is to make my kids wash their hands every time we come home from being out in the general public. We probably should have been doing that all winter long anyways.

Sara said...

No, I'm not freaked out. At this point, I'd just be a little more cautious if I or someone in my family caught something that seemed like it could be the swine flu (as in, go to the doctor instead just trying to fend it off myself). And other than a little worry about bringing a baby into the world right now (everyone said, "May is such a great time to have a baby - no flu or colds going around!" Yeah right!), I think the whole thing is overrated.

Cathy said...

Not worried. Media always makes such a big deal...bringing on the panic. Again, so many more people die every year from the regular flu. We just need to be as cautious as we normally are during flu season.