The WHO, not the rock group, some health agency, has declared a swine flu pandemic. Just to be on the safe side, I would curtail all contact with barnyard animals of any type.
As in most countries the summer is coming, so the probably of a pandemic is becoming less and less possible to happen. Heat prevents the virus from spreading airborne.
Just wait until the autumn. The fact that the virus is still spreading rapidly in many countries in the northern hemisphere (America, Japan, Canada, Spain, Scotland, England) despite the fact that the seasonal flu season has long ended is very worrisome. Add to the fact that some southern hemisphere countries which are only just at the beginning of their winter are already experiencing large scale community transmission (eg Australia, Chile, Argentina) and it all seems that the virus will be around for a long time and will spread much more widely than it has already. The only surprising thing according to experts is why it took so long for phase 6 to be announced.
In South America some people attacked a bus when the rumor got out that someone on it had swine flu. WHO was responding to political pressure to hold back so as not to cause more panic.
The possibility that bird flu could combine with it in the fall and be passed to humans is another concern. Viruses break up and recombine, and so far, bird flu has been hard to catch but very deadly. If it combines with swine flu, which it might, it would be deadly and very serious.
Yes that is definatley the case. Many countries in fact urged WHO to change the definition of phase 6 so that it wouldn't be declared. You are also quite right in saying the greatest risk is it combining with H5N1 (bird flu). The Egyptians are paranoid of this happening as they are already getting periodic deaths from bird flu (which is much more deadly than swine flu), but at the present time bird flu isn't likely to be passed on. However if a person catches swine flu and bird flu at the same time the fear is the two will form to create a flu virus which spreads between humans rapidly with a high mortality rate. There are already examples from Australia with people catching both swine flu and normal seasonal flu at the same time, so it may happen with swine flu and bird flu.
It is also worth noting that even with the relatively hot conditions in the UK over the last few weeks and the very proactive efforts of the UK government to reduce the spread of the disease it is still spreading at an ever increasing rate of almost 1.5 (so every person who catches it will pass it on to two others).
Definately is a worry, and it is impossible to expect swine flu to be stopped. However, what many countries are trying to do is to slow down the spread of the virus as much as possible with the use of school closures, anti-virals etc with the hope that the spread of the virus can be reduced as far as possible before vaccination programs begin.
The production of vaccines causes more problems though as it is impossible to produce enough swine flu vaccine and seasonal flu vaccine to meet demand, and so a compromise will need to be found. In addition, some countries such as France, Canada and the UK have made advanced orders for vast quantities of swine flu vaccine, leading to the feeling that many other areas will not be able to get any. Finally there is the risk that the virus continues to mutate rendering any vaccine virtually useless.
No, it's already a pandemic. WHO declared this yesterday, and in fact they waited longer than their guidelines dictate for political reasons; namely, they didn't want people freaking out.
It's no more dangerous than any other flu right now, and it will get better over the summer due to the heat, but what the World Health Organization is worried about is mutation into something more virulent in the fall. The 1918 flu that killed so many people in the U.S. started out as a mild flu in the spring, then came back as very dangerous in the fall when it mutated.
I heard on the news some people are having "Swine Flu Parties"! They think that if they infect each other now they'll develop a resistance if it becomes more dangerous this fall.
That's even worse than a Tupperware Party--and you don't even get a free seal cleaner.
I would add another danger, which is that the vaccine itself could be dangerous, as the last swine flu vaccine turned out to be. The government got on TV urging everyone to be vaccinated, and then people started to die from the vaccine. In fact, that incident may keep some people from getting a new swine flu vaccine even when one is available, for many of the same reasons many people won't vaccinate their kids against measles or smallpox now. At my last job, many people refused to get simple flu shots--they were convinced the vaccines would hurt them worse than the flu and nothing you could say would change their minds.
The last thing that I will be convinced of is any wag the dog blurb about how much better off I'll be if I have the vaccination. Whenever the big boys start deciding what's good for me I stop listening.
I can't think of one good reason why they'd have my best interests at heart.
Well, you're right ,I was talking about my country's reality right now, we seem to pass through this flu unharmed, we had zero cases confirmed from only two suspected.
3 cases of swine flu now in North Carolina, not far from where I live, this crap is getting too wierd.
Well the big news in the UK is how the first death from swine flu has happened in the UK, and at the same time swine flu is now well established in a few areas of the UK and nothing can really be done to stop the spread.
Australia is now entering Winter it is 'flu' season and there are many cases occurring there at the moment.
Whilst the current strain of the swine flu seems mild it seems like the danger is if it mutates into something stronger.
Personally I am very skeptical about any vaccines.
The 1918 flu that killed so many people in the U.S. started out as a mild flu in the spring, then came back as very dangerous in the fall when it mutated.
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