Friday, May 1, 2009

Top 5 Swine Flu Don'ts

It is so easy to panic when it seams that everywhere we turn, we hear about more cases of Swine Flu (now called H1N1 influenza A).

Here is a list of 5 things not to do...

Don't rush to the ER

If you actually have flu-like symptoms — a fever above 100° F, headache, sore throat, body aches, chills or fatigue — and you live in an area where there have been confirmed swine flu cases, by all means report to your doctor.

Don't turn away, it's fine to eat pork!

There is no evidence that this virus makes pigs really sick. The H1N1 virus actually contains genes from swine, avian and human flus. The virus also cannot be spread through pork products, so you can't contract the H1N1 virus by eating bacon, hot dogs or anything else that was once a pig.

Don't build up your own stash of antivirals

A cornerstone of the government's preparations for the outbreak of a pandemic was the stockpiling of 50 million doses of those drugs over the past few years. This is enough to ensure that doctors would be able to respond sufficiently to new outbreaks. However, that capacity could be put at risk if people begin stockpiling antivirals for their own use.

If you feel sick, don't leave home

When it comes to slowing the overall spread of a pandemic, such as the flu, the best thing we can do is keep sick people away from everyone else. If you're feeling sick, don't go to work until you feel better . This may not be great advice if you don't get sick leave, but in the end may be in the interst of everyone.

This sounds trite...but DONT PANIC!

Panic can only lead to irresponsible actions — on a personal and national level — that would likely make a pandemic worse. There is actuall even some good news here: the H1N1 virus is hitting North America at the tail end of its flu season. "This is a cause for deep concern, but not panic," said President Barack Obama in his April 29 news conference. In the midst of all this uncertainty and anxiety, that's good advice.


No comments: