16
Jul
09

On air: Are you confused about swine flu ?

swine fluIt’s “unstoppable” says the WHO, and could be the biggest pandemic ever. 

As of last week, there  are around 95 thousand confirmed cases worldwide , and 433 deaths.

Here’s the latest advice on the first flu pandemic for 40 years.

We seem to have veered from panic, to acceptance, to signs of panic again .

So what is going on ?

40 thousand people a week in Britain alone are contacting their doctors fearing they may have it.

So, how seriously are you taking it ? And are you confused by how serious it is ?

In the developed world many people will get it and maybe not even know, but what about the developing world ?:

swine flu has an attack rate of 30% — once it enters a country, the likelihood is 30% of citizens will catch it at some point.”

Is it something you are worried about ? or is it something that hardly crosses your mind ?


77 Responses to “On air: Are you confused about swine flu ?”


  1. 1 Deryck/Trinidad
    July 16, 2009 at 11:12

    I’m not confused about swine flu. I’m treating it like any other flu, wash hands, cover mouth when sneezing etc.

    I look at the statistics if 433 out of 95 thousand died then the mortality rate is about 0.46%. Actually the more people get it now the better as this will help build some type of resistance, so that if their is a recurrence of the disease due to a different strain the effects will not be as severe.

    I WOULD HAVE TO BE A MAD, IGNORANT AND PARANOID MAN TO PANIC. There are many diseases with a higher mortality rate that we don’t panic for because the media doesn’t highlight them.
    http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/ops/hsc-scen-3_flu-pandemic-deaths.htm

    • 2 Margaret Mary
      July 17, 2009 at 00:26

      Myself and my partner have planned a few days away to manchester. we have tickets booked aswel to go to see a man utd match on da 5th of Aug. Im just having second thoughts about going after all this talk about the swine flu. Any suggestions, on what we could do???

  2. 3 Ramesh, India
    July 16, 2009 at 11:33

    Swine Flu is a big news in Hyderabad. One software professional returning from the US got infected, somehow managed to get away with the checks at the airport and passed the flu onto seven of his colleagues. In an unprecedent move, the company has shut down its office for two days requiring all its employees to have medical check up. If the flu is transmitted to 30% of the population, there is no way the administration can handle the epidemic. Though things look under control now, a big danger is just around the corner.

  3. 4 Rob (UK)
    July 16, 2009 at 11:38

    Do they really say it’s “unstoppable”? Slightly out of context, I think.

  4. 5 Mark Sandell
    July 16, 2009 at 12:05

    Quote from Ms Chan, the head of the WHO. :
    “As we see today, with well over 100 countries reporting cases, once a fully fit pandemic virus emerges, its further international spread is unstoppable,”

    So, it looks like she “really” did say it.

  5. July 16, 2009 at 12:06

    yea i am confused by the plethora of information about the disease.i am just wondering which one i should fear more-HIV or H1N1.

    • July 16, 2009 at 20:29

      Well..it might be easier to protect yourself against HIV– that is not needles sharing and not unprotected sex…and hopefully if you need to a blood transfusion the blood is screened for HIV virus first..

      Regarding the H1N1 virus..basic higiene will help, washing hands frequently, and keeping away from crowds,

      In Israel people is not very much alarmed by it.. I’m carefully of cleaning my hands with a Hand Sanitizer before I eat when I’m not at home… I mostly carry the Hand Sanitizer with me all the time..

    • 8 RightPaddock
      July 16, 2009 at 22:52

      @sinaisix – HIV is much, much easier to avoid than H1N1

      HIV dies on exposure to air, its transmitted by blood, you wont get it by standing next to someone on the bus. Flu & Cold viruses survive in the air, that’s why you should to cover your mouth when you sneeze etc.

  6. 9 Ann
    July 16, 2009 at 12:12

    Being on immune suppressants, I one of the ‘at risk’ category, and apart from taking sensible precautions like hand washing and me avoiding too many dirty public places, I try to take a philosophical view on it. There’s no point in panicing about it, anxiety just raises stress levels and that’s not good for me either!

    • 10 ben white
      July 20, 2009 at 23:17

      Absolutely. What i would like to know is if one gets the flu should one
      t
      emporarily come off the immune suppressants. In my case Hydroxeria
      which helps a blood condition call Polycythema vera. No one can tell me.

  7. 11 patti in cape coral
    July 16, 2009 at 13:12

    Not too confused about it, just taking common sense precautions, as with any flu.

  8. 12 Ramesh, India
    July 16, 2009 at 13:18

    @Ann
    Google office in Hyderabad is not a dirty public place! Here are some pics from Hyderabad. http://www.ndtv.com/news/photos/album_details.php?albumPage=1&AlbumType=PHOTO_GALLERY&AlbumTitle=Swine%20flu%20scare%20at%20Google%20Hyderabad%20office
    It makes me wonder whether we can avoid Sine Flu if we cover our mouth and Nose like those in the pictures.

  9. July 16, 2009 at 14:13

    I am confused at to why there appears to be a subtle form of terrorism going on here. I am also somewhat suspicious as to the motives behind this; what I can only view as a hype. The use statistics is a bit of a joke. If one applied the same to motor cars, there wouldn’t be any on the street.
    It does look like the pharmaceutical industry is standing to make quite a killing (excuse me) on this one. Of course I am not saying that the pharmaceutical industry instigated or are perpetuating this ‘new’ plague, but it would make a good plot for a John Grisham yarn

    • 14 Tom K in Mpls
      July 17, 2009 at 01:33

      All it is, is everyone like to be important, heard, and respected. Just like me. Ms. Chan has a job and performs it enthusiastically. The press has a job and they do it enthusiastically too. Now since attention helps Ms Chan, personally and professionally, she lets it roll and makes sure the basic facts are correct. And what we see is the snowball effect fed by people that would rather do too much, or the wrong thing, than to do nothing.

  10. 15 Dan
    July 16, 2009 at 14:22

    No confusion whatsoever.
    Basic hygiene needs tro be meticulously practiced.
    Wash Hands
    Cover coughs.
    Wash Hands
    Cover sneezes
    Wash Hands
    Avoid touching eyes and mouth
    Wash Hands
    If you are sick STAY HOME
    Wash Hands
    and most important…after using the toilet. WASH HANDS.

    • 16 Dennis Junior
      July 17, 2009 at 18:16

      I thought that same way regarding this issue, when it first came on…
      ~Dennis Junior~

    • 17 whiskydelta
      July 17, 2009 at 19:25

      Thats all well and good writing that, when there are some of us do this without thinking anyway, at the doctors waiting rooms, there stood a group of people gossiping and one was sneezing her head off and wiping her hand by rubbing it into the other one! I was livid and got up and went off home until a later time! Some folk couldn’t care less how they conduct themselves, I’m almost sure it could cause untold problems to pull some one about the calous conduct in a public area!

  11. 18 paul
    July 16, 2009 at 14:29

    yes, am definately confused. the gov’t here in uganda is treating it like a miltary situation and not releasing any informaation yet they confirmed the first cases of the virus. what should i do?

  12. 19 Rob (UK)
    July 16, 2009 at 14:41

    Mark – My point was that your quote of the word “unstoppable” without any context could suggest two things. One, what Ms Chan intended – i.e. that the international SPREAD of the disease is unstoppable, or two, the incorrect idea that swine flu ITSELF is unstoppable.

    It would have been clearer (and more honest) to give the full quote in the post, or else replace the pronoun “it’s” with “The spread”.

  13. 20 Ann
    July 16, 2009 at 14:54

    I’m more worried about death in a road traffic accident than swine flu – you should see the way they drive in Belgium!!! Scary stuff!!

  14. 21 Roy, Washington DC
    July 16, 2009 at 14:56

    I’m not confused about it, and in a big way, I’m not too worried about it either. I don’t want to get the flu (nobody does), but even if I do, swine flu is no more deadly than regular flu. The hype over swine flu is just that — hype.

  15. 22 ~Rhoda in the United States
    July 16, 2009 at 15:11

    WASH YOUR PAWS!!!!!

  16. 23 Kabir Idris Pindiga
    July 16, 2009 at 15:14

    Absolutely! I am confused with the seriousness of Swine Flu. It was a measure headlines in the past few month, but Now I only get to remember it sometimes. I even started to thought of western propaganda as well as asking myself, for what purpose?

  17. July 16, 2009 at 15:36

    The swine flu has even reached the far-flung areas of the world. The pandemic is extremely worrisome. Advice given by doctors and medical staff has to followed to the letter if this flu is to be contained. On a personal note, my own son is travelling to Mexico, Nicaragua and Benin in a couple of days. I am very apprehensive. Of course he has taken all the jabs and I sincerely hope his three week holiday is not marred in any way by the raging flu.

  18. 25 Gary Paudler
    July 16, 2009 at 15:38

    It’s the flu, it’s treatable and it probably won’t kill you.
    EVERY DAY more than 5000 people die of illnesses
    that are due to unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation.
    80,000 people die due to medical malpractice every
    year in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control
    estimate that every year, in the U.S. more than 20,000
    people die of the common flu. How about some perspective?

  19. 26 Tom K in Mpls
    July 16, 2009 at 16:16

    The only thing that has made this flu strain different is the fact that it is more likely to kill a healthy young adult than other strains. It is just as hard to control as others and produces roughly the same number of fatalities.

  20. July 16, 2009 at 16:43

    Not at all. it is a virus and will take a toll of the weaker thereby increasing the average resistance to disease among the human flock. Thereby selecting the more viable kind amongst humans. Thereby the Darwinian law of survival of the fittest which in itself is a vital link in the process of evolution of species.
    Mutation of the virus will ensure its average survival power, the weaker ones dying leaving their ecological niche to the fitter viruses.
    Viruses are very useful, carefully calculated creatures which ensures that populations of living creature remain adapted to the transient prevailing conditions on the planet earth as they have done over millions and millions of galactic years and are bound to continue doing so for the coming millions and millions…. and so on.

  21. 28 Ramesh, India
    July 16, 2009 at 16:47

    I don’t think it is a hype as far as India is concerned but because of lack of enough facilities. In Order to confirm a person in Hyderabad for Swine Flu, his blood sample has to be sent to as far as Delhi(more than 2000 miles away). If the number of infected multiplies, the resulting chaos could actually lead to many deaths.

  22. 29 Phillip Kihumuro
    July 16, 2009 at 16:51

    I live in Uganda(Kampala) and sometimes Entebbe where the other day a case of swine flu was reported. This created panic to a level of discouraging people from eating pork. I think many people are scared and above all confused BUT PERSONALLY, am not because I believe that pendemics and disasters are meant to curb the ever increasing population and thus maintian the world at its carrying capacity.

  23. 30 Shaun in Halifax
    July 16, 2009 at 17:04

    I’m not confused about swine flu at all. I’m angry and frustrated. I live in North America, so every time I turn on the news, I’m bombarded by the latest crisis du jour. Whether it’s kidnapping, climate change, soil erosion, chemicals in the air, chemicals in the food, terrorism, nuclear threats, Muslim fundamentalists, Christian fundamentalists, riots, starvation, obesity, or diabetes, it Is always THE MOST SERIOUS THREAT TO MY SECURITY, HEALTH AND WELL-BEING. EVER.

    Most people I talk to are either using hand sanitizer like it’s a cure for cancer, or remember the non-issue that was SARS and are so cynical it’s scary. If Deryck/Trinidad is correct, that means I only have a 98.6% chance of surviving swine flu if I catch it. Doesn’t flu season claim more lives than that? I would rather have the correct information and have it be boring, than have incorrect information but be entertained. If I wanted entertainment, I’d watch Jon Stewart or FOX, not CBC/BBC/CNN/MSNBC etc.

  24. 31 steve
    July 16, 2009 at 17:15

    The regular flu affects and kills more people, yet no hoopla over that. More people die from car accidents on a daily basis than the totality of deaths from this…. This is just media hype. If something like the Spanish Flu of 1918 happens, then it’s time to be worried, but until then, this is hype like the killer bees which were supposed to kill us all in the 1980s.

  25. 33 Meg in Canada
    July 16, 2009 at 17:16

    I don’t feel confused about the swine flu. The reality of life is that every now and again, a pandemic or epidemic virus takes its toll on human populations. What is really unfortunate is how developing countries always seem to get the short end of the stick. I would argue that developed nations can hand these sorts of outbreaks better.

    I think that our panic-aceptance-panic pattern is completely created by the media. Saying that swine flu is ‘unstoppable’ is almost a phrase we are immune to. The media increases the hype around issues so much that unstoppable doesn’t even carry it’s definition anymore becuase it has been over-used.

    As many people have previously stated, it’s best to keep a cool head. If you don’t have swine flu, just keep practicing good hygiene as we have all been taught: wash your hands constantly, cover your mouth when cough or sneeze with your elbow/arm instead of your hands, etc.

  26. 34 Julia in Portland
    July 16, 2009 at 17:24

    I think the fear of the unknown is what is driving this hysteria. I think the disease control agencies are at a loss of what to do, so they create some hysteria to push people towards better hygiene. Just a theory.

    I found it interesting that at some State Fairs and Agricultural events here in the US they were going to have 6 foot barriers between the people and the pigs.
    This action was NOT to protect the people, but to protect the swine from contracting H1N1 from the people.

    Wash your hands, don’t rub your eyes and nose and keep your fingers out of your mouth. This has ALWAYS been my Mother’s advice – when we didn’t follow it, she would give us a list of the horrible diseases we could catch.

  27. 35 Julia in Portland
    July 16, 2009 at 17:28

    @Shaun in Halifax

    I saw a study once that found that people who watched Jon Stewart were better informed and able to accurately answer current news questions than people who watched the purported ‘news’ networks. Just goes to show. 🙂

  28. 36 Konstantin in Germany
    July 16, 2009 at 17:29

    Considering the number of responses this topic has gotten over the day and comparing it with the huge response on the last topics we discussed here, i’d say a grand majority is not worried nor confused about it. I’m half Guatemalan. I have a lot of contact with people from Middle-America. Some also have come back to Germany after the outbreak… they’re not sick, I’m not sick.
    And just for the fun of it, I wash my hands a lot. I did, even before the “outbreak” in Mexico.

  29. 37 viola
    July 16, 2009 at 17:37

    I’m not confused. I’ve been following the reporting on it on a regular basis. Here in Canada the planning for it is going ahead in the manufacture of vaccine, prioritizing who gets the vaccine and in what order. They initially wanted to have enough to vaccinate everyone, but this particular virus has some characteristic which slows down he amount of vaccine that can be produced; thus, the prioritizing, health workers first. They’re also stockpiling anti-virus medication and keeping a close check on how effective such medicine continues to be.

    They are saying now that the virus is targeting young healthy people in the prime of life. It is attributed to the fact that this virus is similar to the one that hit in 1957 so that anyone who had the flu back then has immunity to this one. So we oldies are supposed to be at very low risk in this pandemic that’s coming up.

    In Canada, Triage teams are being trained.

    Yes, wash your hands. Keep your hands away from your face. Don’t hug and kiss when you meet your friends. Don’t shake hands with people. Stay home if you get sick.

    Most important of all: If you have to cough or sneeze, don’t use a handkerchief, tissue, or your hands–put your mouth on your sleeve or the crook of your elbow to do so. That will block the virus from goito the air and keep you from depositing it on doorknobs, grocery carts, etc.

  30. 38 viola
    July 16, 2009 at 17:39

    I’m not confused. I’ve been following the reporting on it on a regular basis. Here in Canada the planning for it is going ahead in the manufacture of vaccine, prioritizing who gets the vaccine and in what order. They initially wanted to have enough to vaccinate everyone, but this particular virus has some characteristic which slows down he amount of vaccine that can be produced; thus, the prioritizing, health workers first. They’re also stockpiling anti-virus medication and keeping a close check on how effective such medicine continues to be.

    They are saying now that the virus is targeting young healthy people in the prime of life. It is attributed to the fact that this virus is similar to the one that hit in 1957 so that anyone who had the flu back then has immunity to this one. So we oldies are supposed to be at very low risk in this pandemic that’s coming up.

    In Canada, Triage teams are being trained.

    Yes, wash your hands. Keep your hands away from your face. Don’t hug and kiss when you meet your friends. Don’t shake hands with people. Stay home if you get sick.

    Most important of all: If you have to cough or sneeze, don’t use a handkerchief, tissue, or your hands–put your mouth on your sleeve or the crook of your elbow to do so. That will block the virus from going into the air and keep you from depositing it on doorknobs, grocery carts, etc.

  31. 39 ARTHUR NJUGUNA
    July 16, 2009 at 17:49

    When it first broke out, it was badly labeled and enough was done to try to stop it from ground zero by every country. It was left to Mexicans to deal with it by those who don’t keep hogs; don’t you know!

    It could have vanished with collective mobilization of the necessary resources. Panick woun’t help at this stage either because it might cloud reason. I think enough has not been done.

    The common political response is feeble and WHO looks like a by-stander collecting statistics that are not helpful due to lack of tangible action. Can we afford this? Have we done all we can? It was not long enough before it was not known what medication works. Who is in charge now? And what is the common strategy? I refuse to believe that people in all those countries are not hygienic and are in fact some of the cleanest places.

  32. 40 Justin from Iowa
    July 16, 2009 at 17:51

    agree, all hype no substance. Its interesting to scientists, but the only people at risk are the same people at risk from the normal flu – the poor, those without health care, etc etc.

  33. 41 John in Salem
    July 16, 2009 at 17:54

    Swine flu still looks like a biological Y2K to me.

  34. 42 Holly
    July 16, 2009 at 17:57

    to be honest, i dont think everyone should be soooo woried about it.
    I mean its just the flu, named after pigs.
    Thousands of people die everyday, its basically the flu and its just at a high point at the moment because its spreading.
    The people that have died have either had a) poor health or B) had some sort of health problems that made the flu worse, only a couple tiny amount haven’t had problems
    Last week i had flu so i had to stay at home, i had it for about a week or so and i got better in no time. Of course it gets worse at the start but if you rest and just don’t move much you’ll get better sooner or later.
    So i would just get on with life because you have a greater chance of getting hit by a car and dying then dying from ‘swine’ flu
    its like the mad cow disease, just a hype and a over reaction

  35. 43 Tracy in Portland, OR
    July 16, 2009 at 17:58

    My biggest concern with Swine Flu is if it mutates. My understanding is a virus can “learn” immunity or take on characteristics of another virus. So now that the Swine Flu virus is easily transmitable human to human, what is the likelyhood it could mingle with something like the Bird Flu creating a more deadly more contagious version of the the two viruses.

    Also I noted a recent article said people born before the 1918 influenza pandemic had an immunity to Swine Flu. So would an immunization for this flu potentially make our bodies more prepared for any variation of these seemingly viral cousins? How long does a Flu Shot protect you? Are Immune boosters a better way to prepare? Make ourselves healthier? How about herbal immune boosters? Are they a viable option if this blows up and Tamiflu is not readily available?

    Tracy
    Portland, OR

    • 44 Tom K in Mpls
      July 16, 2009 at 19:02

      Ah, Tracy, there are thousands of diseases. Most are non fatal. Any of these, at any time, could mutate to become the worst pandemic in history. Personally I don’t loose any sleep over it.

  36. 45 Andrew in Australia
    July 16, 2009 at 18:03

    What gets to me though is that when something of considerable serious is in the air and attempts are made to mitigate any potential fallout, when the event fizzles like John in Salem are quick to say it was all a lot of hot air. As if they know that preventative efforts weren’t the reason the problem turned out to be less than expected. Like road safety, you see when people die on the roads, but you never think about lives saved because you can’t count them. Same with disease prevention.

  37. 46 Anthony
    July 16, 2009 at 18:06

    The death ratio just seems like another regular flu. Not scary to me, it will prob just kill the old, young, and unhealthy, just like the rest of these things. I’m not confused, nor am I scared.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  38. July 16, 2009 at 18:07

    Since the CDC didn’t panic, I decided I’d better follow their example, though I did subscribe to their newsletter in order to stay informed. Now H1N1 is in my city, and my friend’s children have got it, but the world hasn’t ended. They’re on the mend. Given all that, why should I be afraid?

    Dechant
    23/F/NY

  39. 48 Roseann In Houston
    July 16, 2009 at 18:08

    I’m not confused or worried. I remember a pretty bad flu year (I think it was in 1986) and the number of deaths were sad but I don’t remember this kind of panic. That was before there were flu vaccines, and I wonder if the development of vaccines has contributed to the tendency to react with panic . Now that there are vaccines we seem think that if we react quickly enough we can “fix” it, we can eradicate the virus, and if it’s not fixed we are looking for someone to blame. I think the whole system has contributed to creating panic…
    Ironically, I’ve read that I may have some immunity to this flu because I am over 50 and have probably been exposed to a similar strain years ago – before there were vaccines!

  40. 49 Pierre
    July 16, 2009 at 18:09

    I think the cavalier attitude of many people will make the flu more dangerous. Just look at the progression map on the BBC website. It is spreading rapidly and people are not just getting sick, they are dying. I am in one of the “at risk” groups, and I will not stop my life, but I’m definitely very concerned. I actually have a trip planned to the UK in September and after reading today’s news, I’m having second thoughts.

  41. 50 Ramesh, India
    July 16, 2009 at 18:09

    I am not scared of swine Flu because I have the anti-dote – cricket flu! Andrew Strauss played probably his best innings today!!

  42. 51 Shaun in Halifax
    July 16, 2009 at 18:10

    @ Julia in Portland

    It’s a sad state of affairs where ‘pretend’ journalism trumps real journalism.

  43. 52 Lisa from Pennsylvania, US
    July 16, 2009 at 18:14

    What’s the point of panicking? Swine Flu broke out, whether we like it or not. It’s no worse (mortality rate-wise) than the flu we’re currently used to and just like that flu the same preventative measures (wash your hands, don’t touch your face) are effective. I don’t see the point in making a mountain out of a mole hill.

  44. 53 Ryan
    July 16, 2009 at 18:16

    The WHO admits the vaccine they are preparing for the masses is untested. Check their website the information is there. The swine flu scare has happened already in the US in 1976. 48 million americans took the vaccine. Many died and many had neurological damage. Only 1 person died from actual swine flu. The vaccine was untested then. And it will be untested now. Protect yourself. Humans have rights. Use them.

    Portland OR

  45. 54 Scott [M]
    July 16, 2009 at 18:16

    Gosh, I don’t know what to do, I am sitting here all freaking-out. Will the swine get me? Will it not? Why pigs? What happened to the birds? Am I gonna oink? I’m scared man. Terrified. To swine or not to swine—when will be my time? Should I wear a mask? What a task, can we get rid of this thing? Or is it just another flu and a whole lot of to-do?

  46. 55 Keith
    July 16, 2009 at 18:18

    If you have access to health care, there’s no reason to worry about swine flu more than any other contagious disease… If you get it, go get it treated and you’ll be fine. People close college campuses, etc. because of swine flu, but not meningitis, a contagious and much more dangerous disease? Sounds like panic.

    Also, that fire alarm beeping is ear-piercing and horrible.

    • 56 RightPaddock
      July 16, 2009 at 22:28

      Not necessarily so, Australia has recorded death of a fit & healthy 20 something male died in intensive care, there appear to have been no underlying conditions that made him susceptible – ie not pregnant, no respiratory disease, not obese etc.

      The other 20+ deaths have been people with underlying serious and sometimes chronic conditions.

  47. 57 Tom D Ford
    July 16, 2009 at 18:25

    If a person catches this apparently mild form of swine flu and survives as most people do, it does that person gain some immunity from future mutations of it?

    • 58 Tom K in Mpls
      July 20, 2009 at 00:32

      Probably, just as was posted about survivors of the 1918 flu. But nothing is certain. I am far from an expert, but try searching on the topic ‘protein folding’. Others have explanations why their work is important that explains this. But if the proteins left in your body properly match a new infection, you are safe. This is what vaccinations do with dead or weakened viruses.

  48. 59 mountain adam in portland oregon usa
    July 16, 2009 at 18:27

    Mads on the Lentils, huh? The possible relationship of H1N1 to the 1918 virus is what creaps me out.

  49. July 16, 2009 at 18:28

    Should I be worried about contracting the N1H1 virus in southern california or in Birmingham Alabama

  50. 61 Vijay
    July 16, 2009 at 18:29

    Are you confused abouit Swine flu?

    No,not really it is a disease that effects the weak and immuno compromised plus “native” populations(native american indians, aborignals, pacific islanders etc…)
    I don’t think it is a big deal?

  51. 62 Ole
    July 16, 2009 at 18:34

    hello

    to me all the pandemic discourse seems strange:
    • on one hand the cientifics say that the virus is very mild
    • each year millions of people die from very simple and cheap treatable illness an by swine flu we have not even 500 deaths total

    so if the WHO recommend to governments to cover with medicine still having patents on drugs like Tamiflú that makes it unaffordable for the biggest part of the worlds population and a very flew people extremely rich. If swine flew is a real problem lift the patent and start to produce cheap medicine for everyone, thats possible and all the rest seems to me a “make panic for profit”

    Ole
    Spain

  52. 63 Aphorism153
    July 16, 2009 at 18:36

    The last thing the world needs, and America in particular, is another imaginary emergency.

  53. 64 María, Buenos Aires
    July 16, 2009 at 18:43

    Swine Flu doesnt have a shape or a face, and this is what terrorises porteños in the contagious Buenos Aires. Due to elections, our Government hid the real statistics of deaths and infected people. The Health Minister had to resign, cause they refused to take the proper preventions.
    A day after, scary numbers were revealed, but Argentineans have issues when it comes to conciousness: we’re culturally careless!! I havent seen a headscarf in days, and most citizens seem to have forgotten to use alcohol or at least don’t touch their face when usin public transport. Our latin habits of kissing and drinking mate (wich includes sharing a srtaw) make prevention much more difficult.
    Every day the press publishes the number of deaths, today they’re near 200, and the flu has widely spread to all the provinces. The Government closed theatres for a week, Universities and Schools are still closed, but is this enough for our unaware population? I think they should focus on public transport and in making a huge campaign for young people mainly (who still go out dancing!).

    Kind Regards from the South

  54. 65 Isabelle
    July 16, 2009 at 18:46

    The good thing about this current swine flu pandemic is that it allows us to put in place and test out the systems that will be very necessary when truly bad virus evolves. As it will. We are getting a chance to test the system.

    • 66 Tom K in Mpls
      July 20, 2009 at 00:35

      Very true. Also we are learning what people are willing to spend to do this. This is the part I find interesting.

  55. 67 RP
    July 16, 2009 at 18:49

    There have been several cases of swine flu in Jamaica. The virus is odd however because there is another flu going around. I have had flulike symptoms, and have been to serveral doctors, they however have only used symptoms to diagnose rather than a blood test.
    How can you tell the difference? I think docs need to do more.

  56. 68 Jesus
    July 16, 2009 at 18:52

    I’m not confused about swine flu. I live in Argentina. Here the government lies about the real number of people affected by H1N1. Also lies about the number of dead people and the most important fact is that lied about the vaccines, because they order a huge number of treatment after a precious time, time that was paid with innocent people dying.

  57. 69 DK in U.S.A.
    July 16, 2009 at 18:58

    I think we may have the opposite of Panic – complacency!

    I work in the healthcare industry (nursing home / long-term care) past studies and statistics bear out that HealthCare Professionals (HCP) follow proper hand hygiene at the low, low rate of 40% and only vaccinate against seasonal flu at about the same rate, 40%.

    It seems like an indication to me that the U.S. government would like citizens to be better educated about, and pay attention to H1N1 now – I say this after listening to the Flu Summit held last week and the call for PSA submissions by the general public (awareness and involvement of citizens). I think this is a GREAT idea and it is about time that people pay attention – not become panicked – reach the middle ground.

    I have personal concerns about mutation and the probability of H1N1 mixing with H5N1 (not panic but concern). Perhaps because I follow as many reputable H1N1 sites as possible (flu.gov, WHO.int, CDC.gov, DOA, etc.).

    Do your panelists have a comment on the fact that HealthCare providers are governed by LAW and therefore may not, because they do not HAVE to,follow CDC guidelines. This is a concern I have had since the beginning in April.

  58. 70 Atom Aunt
    July 16, 2009 at 19:14

    I’d like to hear some opinions from some medical professionals as to the effectiveness of various masks to prevent inhaling infected droplets from the sneezes of infected people.

  59. 71 Chuck
    July 17, 2009 at 03:22

    This whole thing is nonsense. Healthy people do not catch the flu of any kind. This one more gimick to get us to buy useless drugs instead of a green diet, enough sleep and rest, humor and moderate exercise. The flu vaccine is treating last years bug at best. I have been a body worker-therapist, healer, Osteopathic therapist and acupuncturist for 28 years, I have not had the flu in 20 years. I got it in the distant past when I worked too many hours and not enough sleep. Big brother wants us to spend our money on drugs instead of a healthy diet of 80 % plants, 10% healthy fats, and 10 % healthy lean protein…The Western diet is why obsesity is growing rapidly, as well as type II diabetes, increased dementia, etc.

    If you can’t grow it or catch in in your back yard, generally do not eat it…NO health care plan will make up for a bad life style. Coffee and a bagel for breakfast is killing so many people along with pizza for supper…People do not want to grow up. They want a pill instead. Legal drugs from their doctors is one of the main killers in the US after heart attacks. They will not put that on the front page!

  60. 72 Kesego Kebelaele- Botswana
    July 17, 2009 at 07:18

    Terrifying indeed. One of the precautions against infection is ‘not shaking hands’. Shaking of hands when greeting people is such a rich part of our culture here in Botswana. Unfortunately, we’ve recently reported our 2nd case of the pandemic.Public education on all precautions continues but the shaking of hands still seems pronounced…the elders would think you’re shunning them by not greeting them ‘culturally’. Swine flue is certainly interfering in our culture, but like they say, culture is dynamic and as a nation, at least for now, we’ll have to resort to other means of greeting and retaining our manners. Interesting, in my view.

  61. 73 Rachel in California, USA
    July 17, 2009 at 16:24

    Swine flu is making the rounds; several of my friends have had it, and I expect I’ll get it too, sooner or later. It is not a very serious illness; it takes you out of circulation for awhile, and you can’t go to work, but there are few fatalities.

    I regard it as I’d regard a normal flu season: annoying, unpleasant, but not a cause for panic.

    I do wash my hands more than usual.

    I don’t avoid shaking hands; I do wash my hands before and after occasions where I may shake hands, before (to avoid contaminating other people, if I’m carrying virus) and after (to avoid getting the flu myself). I’d rather do lots of handwashing than refuse to touch. But if anyone seems reluctant to shake hands, I smile.

  62. 74 Chuck in Ohio, U.S.A.
    July 19, 2009 at 14:57

    The real threat from swine flu is not really swine flu itself — it’s the bacterial pneumonia that strikes patients who are weakened by the flu, infecting their lungs and causing massive blood clots.

    Now, as we approach the winter of the first global pandemic that’s been declared in decades, a new strain of antibiotic-resistant pneumonia has surfaced in hospitals across North America (and published in The Lancet). If this new, resistant pneumonia strain keeps circulating in hospitals when swine flu hits, we could be looking at an extremely dangerous viral / bacterial combination that could prove far deadlier than either one alone.

  63. 75 Jan Havlasek
    July 22, 2009 at 20:54

    I am confused at to why there appears to be a subtle form of terrorism going on here. I am also somewhat suspicious as to the motives behind this; what I can only view as a hype. The use statistics is a bit of a joke. If one applied the same to motor cars, there wouldn’t be any on the street.
    It does look like the pharmaceutical industry is standing to make quite a killing (excuse me) on this one. Of course I am not saying that the pharmaceutical industry instigated or are perpetuating this ‘new’ plague, but it would make a good plot for a John Grisham yarn

  64. 76 Jan Havlasek
    July 22, 2009 at 20:56

    The masses are being fed b, this man made virus will bring big profits to the company who makes the vacine, look into that and see who owns it.
    Dam it people wake up, this is not, I repeat not the crisis the media is selling to you. Avoid the shot, do not let your kids get it, it weakens your immune
    system in the long term. A message from DR. S

  65. 77 karra
    July 29, 2009 at 14:06

    hi, im not sure what to do,my 5yr old son has got swine flu should i keep him away from my youngest whos 1yr even though he was with him before the symptoms came out it might sound like a silly question to most but im worried with my youngest beenin so young please help
    thank you
    karra x


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