28
Apr
09

Swine Flu: your questions answered

flu-pixToday’s show will,  once again,  largely be from Mexico where Ros and the team are going to be back on their roof with more guests.   They are operating under the same restrictions as before: limited numbers of people,   not sitting too close together and face masks for all who want to wear them.  

We’ll also have guests here in the studio in London and, of course,  we want to bring in as many voices and opinions as possible from around the World.  This is clearly a rapidly developing situation.

This gives you an idea of the concern building in the USA

And this from a British newspaper:

This is a useful BBC primer:

Today we want to focus on clarifying as much as possible what we know about the flu virus. Are governments and health authorities across the world doing all they can to contain the spread of the disease? Are you getting all the information you need? What do you want to know about swine flu? We will try to get your questions answered as well as bringing you the latest from the place where it all started — Mexico.

Speak later


9 Responses to “Swine Flu: your questions answered”


  1. 1 steve
    April 28, 2009 at 14:11

    http://www.wbaltv.com/health/19303928/detail.html

    According to this, the masks aren’t really that effective in preventing catching the flu, it’s more used to prevent infected people from infecting others.

  2. 2 Nanci
    April 28, 2009 at 14:50

    Wow, you all are in the thick of things! Good for you!

    I think the information we’re getting here in the UK is fine. I am personally not worried about gettingi the flu, but appreciate the actions being taken by the WHO and by the UK government. I really don’t have any questions at the moment as I think the medical information we’re getting or have access to is quite clear. I will be alarmed if WHO has to move to pandemic level but not unreasonably so. I will simply take precautions but will not stress out about it.

    I do find it reassuring that the UK government has stocks of Tamiflu altthough I’m under no illusions that the distribution networks, should the pandemic take hold here, be flaultless. The UK government, despite all the negativity, does really well when it comes to public health issues in comparison to a lot of countries.

    It is a hard balance the media and governments face—how to inform people of the real risks whilst not inflamming panic. So far I think the BBC and The Times are in particular dong a good job as is the Guardian. You will always have the tabloids screaming and inflaming things…so nothing new there.

  3. 3 Sue in Chicago
    April 28, 2009 at 16:08

    Here is the list of things I wish the media was reporting.

    – How many people die every year from the common flu?
    – Of all the people who have died from the swine flu how many are infants and elderly people?
    – In some early reporting I heard that the pigs originally got this strain from the chickens. Don’t all flu strains come from birds or bats? Aren’t most flu strains we have exposure to transmitted from human to human?

    So why are we freaking out? If all the people that died were in their 20’s and were the picture of health, I would be scared. Other than that I worry about my 91 year old grandfather.

  4. 4 JOE
    April 28, 2009 at 18:56

    Is this strain the same strain the was in the US in the mid seventies, also called the swine flu?

  5. 5 Marissa
    April 28, 2009 at 22:18

    there has been a confirmed case of swine flu in my county at.lucia

  6. 6 Al
    April 30, 2009 at 21:20

    Check the stats given out by the American Lung Assoc. Every few years flu deaths spike, probably due to mutation.

    1979: 604
    1981: 3,006
    1983: 1,431
    1985: 2,054
    1987: 632
    1989: 1,593
    1991: 1,137
    1993: 1,044
    1995: 606
    1996: 745
    1997: 720
    1998: 1,724
    1999: 1,665
    2000: 1,765
    2001: 257

    http://www.lungusa.org/atf/cf/%7B7A8D42C2-FCCA-4604-8ADE-7F5D5E762256%7D/PI1.PDF

    This is normal natural occurrence. People are freaking out just because, unlike in the past 2000 years, we now have 24 hour news networks.

  7. 7 David
    May 1, 2009 at 11:34

    Although there isn’t yet any swine flu here in Hong Kong I am taking sensible precautions like wearing a face mask are not leaving my apartment.

    I have just been looking at some statistics and it seems that I am much more likely to be run over by a taxi or struck by lightning than I am to get swine flu so it is definitely far too dangerous to go out.

    Of course I can’t get any food but that is a blessing in disguise because the risk of dying of food poisoning is many times higher than that from swine flu.

    Finally I would like to extend my condolences to Ros Atkins family. His face mask slipped off several times during his recent piece to camera in Mexico so I doubt if he will make it to the end of next week…

    David

  8. 8 Tony B
    May 14, 2009 at 15:40

    Hi, I read yesterday on the BBC News Teletext channel that it is predicted that 1 third of the planets population will catch swine flu within the next 6-8 months, however they failed to give a death toll for those figures. The latest news suggests that 6,497 cases have been confirmed world-wide in 33 different countries and 65 people have been confirmed dead from the disease. It doesn’t take a genius to calculate that this means 1% of the confirmed cases have proved fatal. Using this as a guide it might be right to suggest that if the planet has a populous of 6.5billion people and 1 third at 2.2 billion people catch the virus and there is a 1% death toll, then we could potentially be looking at 22 million deaths accross the world within the next year, and unless you are going to use gas masks which are used for biological warfare, then no ammount of facial protection is going to stop you from either contracting it or passing it on to others. Face it, there are too many people on the planet, wasting all of the resources, jobs etc. and it’s time for another plague to reduce the numbers.


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