Wednesday, April 29, 2009

swiney and whiney republicans

first a swine flu perspective, as requested by a commenter. here are a couple of opinions, that may be proven wrong in the near future, and a few tidbits that you may not have picked up among the hysteria.

- this strain of swine flu probably did originate in mexico

- there is probably a tremendous number of people in mexico that are infected and are showing mild symptoms. therefore, the high number deaths there is probably not indicative of an extremely high fatality rate. as in, of the all the people that are infected, only a small proportion of them are dying.

- infection with swine flu can only be confirmed by a lab test. i am not a clinician, but at least one says if you think you have the flu, it's worth a call to your doctor (not necessarily an appointment). however, according to our local health department (seattle): "If you have not traveled to an area where swine flu is occurring in the 7 days before becoming ill and you have not had close contact with an ill person who recently returned from an area where swine flu is occurring, you do not need to seek medical care for swine flu evaluation," but you should contact your doctor for any type of flu if your symptoms are severe (e.g. fever for 3+ days with no explanation, rapidly worsening illness, person is unresponsive and unable to get out of bed, bad sore throat, difficulty breathing, severe cough and/or chest pain).

- not all cases being reported by the media are confirmed. some of them are only suspected. most likely, not all of them will be confirmed, either b/c they are not the new strain or b/c they don't have severe symptoms and it isn't worth a public health's dept's limited time/money to confirm them by lab test. (see here to find about ph dept's limited money, arg)

- in terms of symptoms, what seems to make this strain different is that adults have diarrhea along with their other flu symptoms. this is a preliminary observation though, and may not pan out.

- if you have any type of flu, stay home! and, everyone needs to wash their hands (get through the entire song of the abcs).

- you cannot get swine flu from pork, even if the chinese and russian gov't seem to be saying so by banning US pork.

- there is still a lot to learn about swine flu. here are some great resources that are consistently being updated:
the cdc site
the who site
the nyt tracker
the king county site (a leader in flu prevention)

okay now on the the whiney republicans: wah, why do we have to spend money on flu preparedness... wah, this stuff has nothing to do with national economy... wah, why think long term at all...
republicans blocked funding for flu-preparedness in stimulus package

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very informative, thank you.

But you did forget one important perspective on swine flu: