28 April, 2009

Latest News on Swine Flu-New Zealand

The Swine flu epidemic has now reached New Zealand with atleast two reported cases! After the Bird flu phenomena the various world health authorities are now taking no chances!(it's almost poetic... from bird(bad flu)to swine flu)The recent upsurge of the deadly swine flu was first reported in Mexico with a few cases being reported in the United States.The fact that cases of new infections have sprung up in New Zealand(see NZ Herald article) indicate a death dealing disease on the loose that needs to be contained!

But agian what is swine flu? what are its symptoms and what does one need to do if infected with the virus? are important questions that each one of us needs to consider!Simply put swine flu is influenza that ordinarily affects swine(my layman definition) Wikipedia puts it as:

"influenza caused by any virus of the family Orthomyxoviridae, that is endemic to pig (swine) populations. Strains endemic in swine are called swine influenza virus (SIV), and all known strains of SIV are classified as Influenzavirus A (common) or Influenzavirus C (rare).[1] Influenzavirus B has not been reported in swine".

The symptoms of the disease are similar just as for usual flu i.e headaches, sore throat, body aches,fever cough ,vomiting etc.How would one know if one has been infected.....a lab test is necessary , so if you catch up a flu round this time and have travelled to any of the areas where the disease has been sighted it would be advisable to seek medical advice by visiting a qualified medical practitioner.

The good news is that swine flu is treatable with certain recommended antiviral drugs especially if detected early! The treatment however must be administered under the supervision of a qualified medical practitioner! Seeing that its raining heavily in some parts of Africa right now, please dont panic if you catch a flu but make sure to consult a doctor!

by the way you can follow the Atlanta(USA) based Center for Disease Control on twitter for latest updates : twitter.com/cdcemergency

To help all of us stay healthy EACH ONE OF US can do the following general rules of ettiquette as suggested by the CDC:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

  • Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
  • If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
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1 comment:

  1. Gosh like we need another disease! I hope it wont get here.

    I'm still having trouble with entrecard but will sort it out.



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