Saturday, May 2, 2009

Know more about A(H1N1) Swine Influenza

I was in Beijing at the height of SARS. It was a horrible experience fearing the unknown. Something I would not want to experience again.

At that time news blockout was implemented all over China, so little do we know what was actually happening. We were in the shock of our lives when gallons of disinfectants were seen rushed inside the school campus. Then, the over populated Beijing turned into a ghost town.

Being discriminated was another thing to handle. Poor you, if you get sick at this time, no one would be willing to nurse you. We had to wear eleven layers of mask to protect ourselves. No one wants you home either, a companion of ours was booted out of a hotel after knowing they came from Beijing. While waiting for the incubation period to lapse, I too was quarantined. In consolation: we were quarantined in luxury in a suite room in five star hotel in Makati for a week and it was a taboo to say we came from Beijing.

Now, I'm worried about the non-rebookable, non-refundable flights I booked last week when Philippine Airlines slashed airline rates by 60%!

What now? Don't let paranoia kick in. Stay healty and get informed. Know more about A(H1N1) (swine flu virus):

swine flu: frequently asked questions

About the disease

WHO update as of 1 May 2009
How do people become infected with influenza A(H1N1)?

Outbreaks in humans are now occurring from human-to-human transmission. When infected people cough or sneeze, infected droplets get on their hands, drop onto surfaces, or are dispersed into the air. Another person can breathe in contaminated air, or touch infected hands or surfaces, and be exposed. To prevent spread, people should cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing, and wash their hands regularly.
What are the signs and symptoms of infection?

Early signs of influenza A(H1N1) are flu-like, including fever, cough, headache, muscle and joint pain, sore throat and runny nose, and sometimes vomiting or diarrhoea.

Regarding study of the first outbreak, have you received any feedback from the WHO team sent to Mexico to investigate the outbreak?

Teams are already sending epidemiological evidence but we will know more over the next few days.

Is there any confirmation of transmission between pigs and humans at this point?


Is there any information on the economic impact of the outbreak so far?


Why are we so worried about this pandemic possibility when thousands die every year from seasonal epidemics?

Seasonal epidemics occur every year and we are able to treat the virus with seasonal vaccines. A pandemic is a worldwide epidemic. It is a new virus and one to which the populations will have no immunity.

1 comment:

Bill Gast said...

N1H1 Running its course in Texas?
By Bill Gast/
Saturday May 2, 12:30 PM the ER room at the New Braunfels Texas ER room at Christus Santa Rosa hospital is empty. Not even a crying teenager with a broken arm from a skateboard experience. CDC as of Friday had no new cases verified or reported.

Parking at Christus near empty. New Braunfels Library closed. Satler Texas Library closed. Most schools in Comal county will be closed until May 11

So far it is known that the virus sheds more than seven days after symptom onset.(possibly as long as nine days--this is unusual)
Since this is a novel (new) virus, there is no "herd Immunity" so the attack rate is very high. this is the percentage of people that come down with a virus if exposed. almost everyone who is exposed to this virus will become infected, though not all will be symptomatic. That is much higher than seasonal flu, which averages 10-155 .The "clinical attack rate" may be around 40-50%. This is the number of people who show symptoms. This is a huge number. It is hard to convey the seriousness of this.
The virulence (deadliness) of this virus is as bas in the hill country of Texas as in Mexico and there are folks that are on ventilators here in the US right now. This has not been in the media, but a 23 month old near New Braunfels is fighting for his life, and a pregnant woman just south of San Antonio is fighting for her life.In Mexico these people might have died already but here in the US we are getting Tamiflu or Relenza quickly and we have ready access to ventilators. What this really means, unless this "quiet spell we are having" is a blessing and a sign that the worst is over, that within a coupla weeks regional hospitals will likely become overwhelmed
In interviews with the stricken, it was noted that the kids with positive cases had more than 70 contacts before diagnosis.
There are 10-25 times more actual cases ( not "possible" cases--actual) than what is being reported by the mainstream media. the reason for the discrepancy is that it takes three days to get the conformation from the CDC on a given viral culture, but based on epidemiological grounds, we know that there are more than 10 cases for each "confirmed" case right now.
One of the immanent problems that face CDC- we are running out of Tamiflu. there is a National Stockpile but it will have to be carefully managed
Again, as noted in the opening of this article, you should avoid going to ER if you think you have been exposed and are symptomatic. Suggestions from Dr. Overman are that you may want to use some N-acetyl-Cysteine--a nutritional supplement available at your health foods store or pharmacy. Also, Oscillococinum has been vindicated as quite effective in a large clinical trial in europe.

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