Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine Flu Update

I might be repeating myself a bit while I get ramped up here, so bear with me. If you have any notes or questions you want posted or addressed, let me know.

-The WHO has moved the pandemic scale up to phase 4. This means there is "Sustained human to human transmission causing outbreaks in at least one country".

-Here is a map that is updated often of swine flu patients http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&t=p&msa=0&msid=106484775090296685271.0004681a37b713f6b5950&ll=36.031332,-95.625&spn=42.156578,87.890625&z=3&source=embed

-A POSSIBLE origin for the virus has been found in a manure pit in Mexico. There was a 4 year old boy who got sick (and recovered, thank the Lord) who was ill before April 2.

-A woman who works in New York got diagnosed with swine flu after having contact with an ill family member. We should expect to see more of these cases. At first the majority of our cases were returning travelers from Mexico, now we will begin to see people who have not traveled getting ill as well.

-The WHO is not ordering flu vaccine yet until they believe that the world is on the edge of an unstoppable global flu. Remember, it takes 13-26 weeks to make a vaccine. We should not expect one for the first, perhaps second wave of a pandemic.

-The WHO is saying that the situation is "still fluid" and might not result in a pandemic. Other experts disagree and say that this is the beginning of a pandemic.

-Understand that if this is a pandemic, it will probably wane some during the summer, then flare up again in the fall/winter. Pandemics usually have 3 "waves" lasting about 6 weeks each, separated by a few months. Pandemic usually last 18-24 months. Each wave can be more mild OR more severe OR stay the same.

-All 35,000 restaurants are closed in Mexico City. I mention this to get people thinking about closures of this magnitude in your area. Are you prepared?

-There are confirmed cases in France, Germany, UK, Sweden. 9 European countries are looking into other possible cases.


Note: there is no guarantee that this is going to be a major, severe pandemic. While people in Mexico are still dying, there are no reports of people in other countries dying from this. That could mean that there are two different strains, that there is something that either gives people from other countries more protection, or it could be that there is something in Mexico that causes this to be a more severe illness.

My recommendation is still to stock up on food, medicine, necessities. If this does NOT become a pandemic, or is very mild, then you can just eat what you bought and that month have a little extra money from not having to go grocery shopping. If this does become a pandemic, and is severe, you will want to be able to keep your family safe and isolated for as long as you can. Homeland Defense has a paper out stating that a quarantine can last up to 90 days PER WAVE. That does not mean it is going to last that long, but it is possible.

Let's keep praying for this to turn into a non-event.

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