Is Swine Flu, H1n1 a Pandemic?
What is a pandemic
First, what it is not. A pandemic is not a seasonal flu, or a widespread disease particular to a specific group of people, (endemic). Nor is it considered a pandemic because of the number of people that it kills . For instance, cancer is widespread, and kills many, but, it is not a pandemic, because it is neither infectious nor contagious.
What it is, an epidemic of an infectious disease that spreads through the human population across a large region, which could be a continent, or even worldwide. This definition fits the H1N1, (Swine Flu). When we think of pandemics as described here, we can apply this definition to, past epidemics such as tuberculosis, smallpox, and the Spanish Flu, of 1918. HIV/AIDS is also considered a pandemic of sorts, because it is a worldwide epidemic, and it is contagious and infectious. This explanation and what follows is what I understand the information I read, to mean. If, however, I overstated, understated, or even misstated any of the things that I listed here, please feel free to correct me, because this disease if too big to mislead anyone.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that a pandemic can start when three conditions have been met:
- emergence of a disease new to a population;
- agents infect humans, causing serious illness; and
- agents spread easily and sustainably among humans.
I found considerable information dating back to 1999-2005 pertaining to this pandemic. I'm not going to actually get into all of that now, as I'm trying to decipher and define what I researched through various publications.
The Spanish Flu
The Spanish Flu of 1918-19 has been called the most destructive scourge, or the worst plague in all recorded human history. The name, "Spanish Influenza" was given to that pandemic, because as the end of World War I was approaching, news censorship was still in force. And since Spain was a noncombatant country, it was left to them to report that civilians in many places were becoming ill and dying at a rapid and alarming rate. The Spanish Flu killed an estimated 50,000,000, (yes that's million), people worldwide
"According to many experts, it is not a question of if such a vicious flu virus will return but of when, and how it will return. In fact, some expect a significant new influenza outbreak every 11 years or so and a severe one approximately every 30 years. According to these predictions, mankind is overdue for another pandemic."......................This is a verbatim quote from a publication that I read from 2005. The Awake magazine, dated December 22, 2005, from a series of articles entitled The Next Global Epidemic, WHEN? So it looks like the experts that this magazine quoted hit the nail on the head.
The Swine Flu of 2009
Of course, even though the H1N1, is a pandemic, the death toll is not expected to climb as high as the Spanish Flu, because of the advances in health care. However, some today don't have the proper fear, and take the necessary precautions for prevention and treatment, so lives will be lost as a result. I was watching the news (NBC News tonight), today October 22, 2009, even though the virus is said to take the highest toll on young people between 20 and 40....................well let me tell you the gist of what I heard.
The commentator said that the flu is effecting 95% of this, (U.S.) nations college campuses. One reason is that the college campuses are a breeding ground, because of the close living quarters. And these students are coming back from their respective homes, some even Internationally, and bringing back whatever strain that's indigenous to their homelands. Mainly the H1N1.
What was shocking to me was the attitudes of the young people interviewed. They seem to be in denial. They have the typical young person's attitude, "they're too young to die, nothing will happen to them." Most even said that they won't change their habits, like sharing in the typical beer guzzling parties, in which numerous young people drink from the same receptacle. But what was most shocking of all, most are not taking the flu shot. Now it remains to be seen how they will fair, with those attitudes.
So in conclusion, lives have been and will continue to be lost due this horrific pandemic, however there is the possibility of survival for the vast majority. We must take the attitude, that, "it can happen to me." Using this attitude and the desire for it not to happen to us, we must follow the advice of the health care providers.
Some advice: Cleanliness, cleanliness, cleanliness, meaning habitually washing hands, with soap, at least 15 seconds under running water, also using hand sanitizers. Keep hands away from nose and mouth when in public. Sneeze into your bended arm, in some cases wear masks. Stay home if you're feeling ill. Washing dishes with a little bleach. Building up your immune system, through proper eating habits, supplements, also lots of rest and sleep. During the next five months, (flu season), stay away from unnecessary large crowds. These are some tips, that I've heard and known from experience, please feel free to add any that you may have heard, and, or know from experience.
SO TAKE CARE AND BE SAFE!
Link to additional information on H1N1
- Pregnancy H1N1 Flu Facts
Pregnant women might be more prone to H1N1 infection due to an already weakened immune system, however of more concern is a higher risk of developing serious complications such as pneumonia and respiratory...
- The Swine Flu Incubation Period
The swine flu is a relatively new virus with an incubation period of 1-7 days, although the average appears to be about two days. Be warned, however, that people can still shed the virus for up to a day before symptoms arise and up to 16 days after t
Do you plan to take a flu shot this season?
Do you know anyone who has had the H1N1 Flu virus
© 2009 Alfreta Sailor