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Some tips on the preventive measures. To take the necessary precautions.

Hopefully the Malaysian government is not taking things ligthly:

from: http://gary54.wordpress.com/2009/04/25/flu-prevention-preventive-measures/

Flu Prevention – Preventive Measures

Imagine scheduling a major sporting event and no one came!   Apparently that is what will happen tomorrow afternoon at two Mexican soccer matches.  Mexican health officials are monitoring airports, subways and other public transportation areas and pulling people who appear to be sick.   Hundreds of people have already died this week in Mexico City despite reports here in the US that only 60 or so have died.  My wife, who is in Mexico City now, says that the news reports in Mexico are much different.

Many in Mexico are angry that the government downplayed the inital outbreak of the flu and only after hundreds have died are beginning to take action.  In the US, there has been little discussion of this issue.  Remember that governments tend to be REACTIVE instead of PROACTIVE.  Health officials are worried that this current flu outbreak could cause a pandemic with the power to kill millions.  The reason is because this new virus appears to be a mix of human, pig and bird viruses.  Humans have no defenses against pig and bird viruses.  With this in mind, take it upon yourself to immediately begin taking precautions to avoid getting the flu.

1.  When possible, avoid being in crowded places such as shopping malls centers of public transportation and so forth.  These measures are now being taken by people in Mexico City, but perhaps it’s already too late.

2.  Wash your hands often using an anti-bacterial soap.  Some experts have recommended that you should wash your hands for 20 seconds to be safe.

3.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.  This is how bad bugs can get into our system.

4.  Consider wearing a mask to cover your nose and mouth.  Consider getting a supply immediately.  If the flu outbreak hits the US, you may not be able to find any.

5.  Cover your mouth when sneezing and/or coughing and remind others to do so.

6.  Take ample quantities of Vitamin C to enhance your immune system.  Vitamin C is the most cost-effective anti-oxidant you you can buy.  It supports the immune system and fights viruses and bacteria.  For the best protection, consider taking at least 2 grams of Vitamin C three times a day.  Your body does not retain it and passes it out of your body through urine.  So taking it throughout the day will ensure that you get maximum benefits.

If you start to feel sick, take precautions so that you don’t spread the virus.  While most people try not to avoid work and go in even when they are sick, now is not to take chances with your life and the lives of your co-workers.  Here are some other tips to help you battle the flu:

1.  Stop eating and just take liquids.  Your body is waging war against an enemy and needs all of the power it can muster up.  The digestion process is an energy-consuming process.  You need to let your body focus on the important work.

2.  Consider increasing your dosage of Vitamin C.  If you have concerns about taking more than the government’s minimum daily requirements, contact your physician or other health care professional.  These comments are my personal opinion and are not meant to be medical advice.

3.  Get rest.  Take a day off from work.  Try to get good sleep.  When you are in a deep sleep, your body produces immune-enhancing compounds that can help you recover more quickly.  Stay home.  Don’t take the chance of infecting others.

Don’t trust your health and your life to governments that have proven to be reactive instead of proactive.  The blame game won’t work well when you are sick.  It’s up to you to take responsibility for your life and take adequate precautions against the flu outbreak.

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Additional/Similar tips from CDC http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/investigation.htm:

Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people. There are many things you can to do preventing getting and spreading influenza:

There are everyday actions people can take to stay healthy.

  • 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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Please take extra care. Here are some important links:

http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/key_facts.htmKey Facts about Swine Influenza (Swine Flu)

http://edition.cnn.com/HEALTH/library/influenza/DS00081.htmlMayoClinic.com: Influenza (flu)

Mexico fights swine flu with ‘pandemic potential’

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The last two days postings on the related topic:

Mexico swine flu deaths spur global epidemic fears

Swine flu cases up to 7; officials expand probe

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Two swine flus in Kan., US total 11; 8 likely in NYC from Associated Press

NEW YORK – Two cases of the human swine influenza have been confirmed in Kansas and one more in California, bringing the U.S. total to 11. At least eight students at a New York City high school probably have swine flu also, but health officials said Saturday they don’t know whether they have the same strain of the virus that has killed people in Mexico.

New York Gov. David Paterson on Saturday directed the state Department of Health to mobilize its infectious-diseases, epidemiology and disaster preparedness workers to monitor and respond to possible cases of the flu. He said 1,500 treatment courses of the antiviral Tamiflu had been sent to New York City.

A strain of the flu has killed as many as 81 people and sickened more than 1,000 across Mexico, where authorities have extended school closures in the capital and two neighboring states with outbreaks. The World Health Organization chief said Saturday the strain has “pandemic potential” and it may be too late to contain a sudden outbreak.

Kansas health officials said Saturday they had confirmed swine flu in a married couple living in the central part of the state after the husband visited Mexico. The couple, who live in Dickinson County, were not hospitalized, and the state described their illnesses as mild.

Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, the state health officer, said, “Fortunately, the man and woman understand the gravity of the situation and are very willing to isolate themselves.”

The man traveled to Mexico last week for a professional conference and became ill after returning home. His wife became ill later. Their doctor suspected swine flu, but it wasn’t confirmed until flu specimens were flown to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A flu viruses, the CDC’s Web site says. Human cases of swine flu are uncommon but can happen in people who are around pigs and can be spread from person to person. Symptoms of the flu include a fever of more than 100 degrees, body aches, coughing, a sore throat, respiratory congestion and, in some cases, vomiting and diarrhea.

At least nine swine flu cases have been reported in California and Texas. The new California case, the seventh there, was a 35-year-old Imperial County woman who was hospitalized but recovered. The woman, whose illness began in early April, had no known contact with the other cases.

The 11 U.S. swine flu victims range in age from 9 to over 50. All recovered or are recovering; at least two were hospitalized.

Health officials are worried because people appear to have no immunity to the virus, a combination of bird, swine and human influenzas. Also, the virus presents itself like other swine flus, but none of the U.S. cases appears to involve direct contact with pigs, said Eberhart-Phillips, who called the strain “a completely novel virus.”

“It appears to be able to transmit easily between humans,” Eberhart-Phillips said. “It’s something that could potentially become very big, and we’re only seeing, potentially, the very beginning of a widespread outbreak.”

New York health officials said more than 100 students at the private St. Francis Preparatory School, in Queens, had come down with a fever, sore throat and other aches and pains in the past few days. Some of their relatives also have been ill.

New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said nose and throat swabs had confirmed that eight students had a non-human strain of influenza type A, indicating probable cases of swine flu, but the exact subtypes were still unknown.

Samples had been sent to the CDC for more testing. Results were expected Sunday.

Parent Elaine Caporaso’s 18-year-old son Eddie, a senior at the school, had a fever and cough and went to a hospital where a screening center had been set up.

“I don’t know if there is an incubation period, if I am contaminated,” Caporaso told the Daily News. “I don’t want my family to get sick, and I don’t want to get anybody else sick.”

The symptoms in the New York cases have been mild, Frieden said, but the illnesses have caused concern because of the deadly outbreak in Mexico, where classes in Mexico City, neighboring Mexico state and the northern state of San Luis Potosi have been canceled until May 6 and where up to 81 deaths are suspected and 20 have been confirmed.

Frieden said that if the CDC confirms that the New York students have swine flu, he will likely recommend that the school remain closed Monday “out of an abundance of caution.”

One factor, he said, is that the illness appears to be moving efficiently from person to person, affecting as many as 100 to 200 people in a student body of 2,700.

“We’re very concerned about what may happen,” he said, although he noted that the pattern of illness appeared different from in Mexico, where much larger groups of people have become much sicker. Overall, he said, flu cases have been declining in the city in recent weeks.

The school was being sanitized over the weekend but still was holding a reunion featuring cocktails, dinner and dancing for hundreds of alumni from as far back as 1939. A health department spokeswoman said the sanitization was just a precaution because it’s not really the environment that passes the flu.

Alumna Joyce Kal, of the Class of 1979, said she wasn’t worried about getting sick.

“I did think about it, but I didn’t, you know, worry, because if it’s the kids, I don’t think it’s going to linger,” said Kal, a physical therapist from the Bayside neighborhood.

The city health department has asked doctors to be extra vigilant in the coming days and test any patients who have flu-like symptoms and have traveled recently to California, Texas or Mexico.

Investigators also were testing children who fell ill at a day care center in the Bronx, Frieden said. And two families in Manhattan had contacted the city, saying they had recently returned ill from Mexico with flu-like symptoms.

Frieden said New Yorkers having trouble breathing due to an undiagnosed respiratory illness should seek treatment but shouldn’t become overly alarmed. Medical facilities in the part of Queens near St. Francis Prep, he said, had already been flooded with people overreacting to the outbreak.

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