Tips and Advice for Surviving the Swine Flu

The H1N1 Swine Flu - important information for your family

(Authors note added 5-13-2012: The swine flu pandemic has come and gone. This article however can also be used for educational and historical purposes)

(UPDATE 11/05/09: Please note that this was written by me in April of this year. With the H1N1 Swine flu now a pandemic, this information is even more vital than ever. Hopefully you can take some of these simple precautionary measures to keep your family safe this winter as we battle this flu together)

APRIL 28, 2009: I've been sitting on this story for a few days, hoping that my worst fears were not being realized. After following the H1N1 swine flu story for the last several days - intensely I might say - I've had to push down a little panicky feeling that something very big was happening here.

With growing alarm, I have been watching H1N1 swine flu cases popping up daily on the H1N1 Swine Flu interactive map here. I hate to push any type of panic button folks but it's time to really sit up and take heed to what's going on. Today, April 27th, 2009, the WHO (World Health Organization) raised it's rating system to a level 4 (from the WHO website) :

"Phase 4 is characterized by verified human-to-human transmission of an animal or human-animal influenza reassortant virus able to cause “community-level outbreaks.” The ability to cause sustained disease outbreaks in a community marks a significant upwards shift in the risk for a pandemic. Any country that suspects or has verified such an event should urgently consult with WHO so that the situation can be jointly assessed and a decision made by the affected country if implementation of a rapid pandemic containment operation is warranted. Phase 4 indicates a significant increase in risk of a pandemic but does not necessarily mean that a pandemic is a forgone conclusion."

The rating level has never been changed to this level since it's inception. We are now part way through the beginnings of a Pandemic. How severe this will become is anybodies guess as this is a new strain of flu - but - similar to the Spanish Flu of 1918 which killed over 20 to 100 million people worldwide. This is not a time to panic - but a time to take a really close hard look at the places where you go, who you spend time with, where you spend time - and - this is definitely the time to get into the habit of washing your hands FREQUENTLY.

IMPORTANT UPDATE 4-29-09 WHO ALERT LEVEL RAISED TO 5:

"Human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region."

"While most countries will not be affected at this stage, the declaration of Phase 5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent."

Some Simple Tips for Avoiding Swine Flu Transmission

In this first hub of many to come on the H1N1 Swine Flu, I'd like to ask you to start by at least making a few small changes in your life to protect yourself and your family. These are simple things that you may already be doing but if you aren't, it's important to start making these habits a part of your daily living. These tips are from the CDC website (Center for Disease Control)

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.


Some other things to consider with the Swine Flu

Although as of yet there are no hard and fast rules concerning travel, I would really stop and seriously think about traveling right now. Myself, I would definitely not go to Mexico at this time unless it was absolutely necessary. Mexico City is ground zero for the Swine Flu and THOUSANDS of people have been infected and over 100 people have died. This virus is VERY CONTAGIOUS and that is why cases are popping up all over the globe. New cases being reported daily. The H1N1 swine flu has all the characteristics of becoming a PANDEMIC - and could and will probably evolve. When it does it could get even more lethal as it comes back around in it's second or third wave. Although some cases in the United States have seemed relatively mild, that could change as the swine flu virus changes it's makeup.

"This is the closest we have been to a pandemic in a long time. I think it is a serious concern because there is clear evidence that it is spread from person to person, that there is a high fatality rate, and it is a nasty infection." (University of NSW Professor of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology Raina MacIntyre.)

This is also a good time to take a good look at your emergency and first aid supplies. In case of a flu pandemic do you have first aid for your family in your home? Do you have enough water and food to last you several weeks and possibly months? Do you have emergency plans for your family in case of a natural disaster or global flu epidemic? These are very important things to ask your self right now. This is not to scare you but to warn you of what COULD happen. In case of a severe H1N1swine flu epidemic hospitals will be overwhelmed. Many people will be sick and need care. Are you able to work from home in case you could not go to work? Do you have a garden that you could get fresh vegetables from in case resources and supplies were in short supply?

These may seem like overwhelming things to have to think about but the time to plan is now. The H1N1 Swine Flu has the potential for turning into a really nasty situation and it's imperative that families plan right away. Like one of my favorite sayings goes: "When the time for action comes, the time for preparation has passed". Please look for future hubs on helping your family survive the swine flu. I will gather as much information as I can to keep you informed on things you can do to help you and your family.

(Dorsi Diaz reports on Climate Change for the San Francisco Examiner and is a freelance Internet writer and publisher )

Your Thoughts on the Swine Flu

Are you worried about a Swine Flu Pandemic?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I think it's being over-rated
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Comments 27 comments

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall

Very interesting and informative, think the idea to stock up is a good one, this hadn't crossed my mind .


Iphigenia 7 years ago

hi Dorsi - it must be scary for you where you live. I'm in the south of France, there are a few cases across Europe - but I don't feel personally threatened as yet. I will follow the basic precautions of course, it could arrive here as the homiday season progresses and more vistors arrive.

This is an important hub - amazing that books and t-shirts are already out there !


Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 7 years ago from USA

Very informative article---I have an issue with our government’s refusal to ban travel into or out of the United States until the Swine Flu virus is neutralized.


ocbill profile image

ocbill 7 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

good info. I think the govt simply needs to screen people going and out of the airports. Yikes, I hate traveling on planes with people sneezing and coughing behind you.


Christ's Assistant Serving Immediately 7 years ago

I think this hub is nothing but a high spectacle. I myself trust in the Lord! I rebuke anyone who uses this to sell T-shirts, ect, all in the name of this flu. God will punish the guilty!


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 7 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

Thank you everyone for dropping by and reading about the latest on the swine flu. Hopefully this was helpful information to help you plan for you and your family.

Nancy) I agree with you. Border restrictions should have been in place days ago....

Christs assistant) I agree with you. I removed the ads with the t-shirts. Those randomly come up in my ebay placement. I think t-shirts and the like are in very poor taste. I have however left the emergency and first aid kits up because I think everyone should have one anyway- swine flu or not.

Thanks for stopping by.


Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand

The interesting thing is that as far as I know, that only in Mexico has there been fatalities. There are about 10 confirmed cases in New Zealand from a school party - but it doesn't even sound like the kids are badly ill. I believe swine flu is much more easy to spread with person to person contact than bird flu was? How is US border security dealing with masked people arriving - that's the best solution - wear a face mask - you might want to add that into the hub. In Asia anyone with a cold wears a mask - its considered polite not to spread your germs around - and I see the pics here that the medical people at the airports have masks and gloves.


Rose Ella Morton profile image

Rose Ella Morton 7 years ago from Beverly Hills, Michigan

Look like everybody is just trying to lay-low. I got concern when I heard it was at level 4. Which sounds low. but the swine flu only goes up to level 6?


SOULFLOW 7 years ago

Im a little nervous about this! Not too much though! Guess Im just gonna have to stay in the house...maybe the library is not so much a good idea. Huh? Love you mom. Keep up the great work!


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

A very useful and informative hub Dorsi. I am in Australia, and we have no confirmed cases yet. I admit to being scared about my Mexican and US friends though. I do hope you all listen to as much advice as you can.


sammyaddams profile image

sammyaddams 7 years ago

thank you for providing this helpful information. Being a mother I find my self very worried at the moment, I will be reading your upcoming hubs on the swine flu.


futonfraggle profile image

futonfraggle 7 years ago

Thanks for sharing this information, Dorsi. I'm the first person to admit that all of this news is quite alarming but I'm not sure swine flu should be classified as a pandemic - YET. The common flu kills 36,000 Americans each year. I can only imagine how many people it kills globally each year. I guess the biggest fear I have is that the American government isn't telling us about fatalities. I mean, not one American has died of swine flu. I heard about the Mexican baby that died in Texas, very sad. But what constitutes a pandemic? Why hasn't TB or the common flu been labeled as such in recent years?


pgrundy 7 years ago

Thank you Dorsi. I have a bad feeling about this. The fact that so many people are just kind of making jokes about it and shrugging it off as one more diversionary scare tactic makes me even more nervous. It has that 'little boy who cried wolf' feeling to it, in that we've had so much phony 'shock and awe' from our government to scare us into compliance that now, if something really bad IS happening, no one is going to take it seriously.

Stocking up is a good idea, I'm going to do it today. Thank you.


The Good Cook profile image

The Good Cook 7 years ago

Thanks for the informative and thought provoking hub. I hadn't really been following this but knowing that so many have died already adds an element of urgency to the situation. Thanks.


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA

How are we to discern the difference between seasonal allergy symptoms and flu symptoms? I'm in Indiana so not *yet* at a huge risk, but my daughter and I both have allergy symptoms. She's 16 months old. What should we be doing? Am I looking specifically for fever?

Good grief, I didn't worry about the Avian flu or West Nile or any of that nonsense, but this time around, Dorsi, you're right, it just seems different!


Tiptopcat profile image

Tiptopcat 7 years ago from London, UK

I was talking to a work colleague about this new variation of flu. She argued the point that whenever people talk about people dying from this or avian flu, they never compare it to the number of people who normally die from regular flu. Now I don't know what the figures for this sort of thing normally is but I thought it was an interesting point that she made.


ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 7 years ago from USA

There is some controversy in all this swine-flue situation. If you take the information from all the news critically you'll see the point. Somebody needs all this panic among people.

But, anyway, some elementary precautions will be nice. Wash your hands, don't go to crowded places and take vitamins!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Hi Dorsi, thanks for this informative hub. The swine flu is all over the news. So I was on my way to research on it when I saw your hub. Thanks for the reminders of protecting ourselves. I'm wondering, is there a cure so far?


Marcus Aurelius 7 years ago

We've become a nation of Howard Hugheses.

@Ripplemaker, there are no cures for any viral infection. Once you have a viral infection you are on for the ride, there seems to be a few things that claim to moderate it (e.g. tamiflu) but no "cures" as such. It is possible to acquire immunity to a particular flu strain via vaccination, but am not certain if there is a vaccination for this the H1N1 virus yet or if there will ever be one. If this bug popped up in the fall or in Asia we'ld not be hearing about it.


Marcus Aurelius 7 years ago

@Tiptocat,

The number I see is about 35,000 people per year die as a result of the seasonal flu. Interestingly enough, most of the deaths are from bacterial secondary infections not from the flu itself. You can be fairly certain, most of those are those with compromised immune systems. See futonfraggle's note.


izettl profile image

izettl 7 years ago from The Great Northwest

The only thing I worry about is having enough anitibiotics and supplies to fight it if it becomes something serious.

I used to not worry about these things until I had a baby and she is obviously in the high risk age group so I worry now for her.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

Dorsi, not to sound flip but the best thing to do is to catch the flu this spring. In general, the spring flu is a milder strain of the same flu that comes around the following fall and winter in a more virulent form. Once you have a strain of flu you are immune forever, unlike flu vaccines that only protect you for a few months. So get the flu in spriing and be safe next winter when it could be really bad!


Lgali profile image

Lgali 7 years ago

Great hub on a this topic thnaks


DY5L3X1A profile image

DY5L3X1A 7 years ago

Informative post. For someone who hasn't been following the swine flu story this really filled me in on alot of stuff. Thanks!

DY5L3X1A


hub-hub profile image

hub-hub 7 years ago from UK,M

bravo hub

maybe this site will help you with more information

http://pathfinding.cn


Meam Wye profile image

Meam Wye 6 years ago

Quite an informative and timely hub.


google bizkit 6 years ago

this is the swine flu is the horrible and it effect very faster we should cover and protect our family form getting in touch we should cover our face and boady parts and should avoid all our friends to come in contact woth us it will really help a lot

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