Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Influenza A(H1N1) Awareness

Update on Philippines Swine Flu: 46 confirmed cases (as of June 8, 2009)

My husband and I got our flu shots last Saturday. Even if it’s not really a vaccine for the H1N1 (as a vaccine is still being developed), we are taking extra precautions against this illness. This gives our body a chance to build up immunity to, or protection from, the virus.
"Current flu vaccines may not be proved effective over the swine virus but it is believed that people who have taken these vaccines on time are likely to show fewer symptoms of the diseases" , said a vaccine specialist. – Source: News and Reviews

Health Secretary Francisco Duque says that the swine flu case in the country have climbed to 46; wherein the 13 new cases includes 8 Filipinos and 5 foreigners. It was also last Saturday when classes in the universities have been postponed and moved to June 15-17 because of the rising number of swine flu cases. This will give foreign students with flu cases time for self-quarantine.

Because of this, I have spent hours researching and reading more information about the A(H1N1) virus. These are just a few Swine Flu Facts and FAQs. All information below are drawn from the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Department of Health (DOH) Philippines, WebMD, MedicineNet.com and Reuters.

SWINE FLU FACTS AND FAQs

What Is Influenza A (H1N1)?
Influenza A (H1N1) is a new virus causing illness in people. This virus is spreading from person-to –person, probably in much the same way that the regular seasonal influenza viruses spread. The CDC is calling the virus "novel influenza A (H1N1) virus" to distinguish it both from flu viruses that infect mainly pigs and from the seasonal influenza A H1N1 viruses that have been in circulation for many years.

How do people catch swine flu?

Flu is generally transmitted through the respiratory tract. Droplets of infected body fluids may carry flu when people cough or sneeze. Studies indicate that masks called N95 respirators, when properly used, filter germs from the breath and hamper the spread of flu. Neither contact with pigs nor eating pork has been linked to the spread of the flu, interim Assistant Director General Keiji Fukuda said.

What is the incubation period?
7 to 10 days from the time of exposure to the first
onset of signs and symptoms.

What are the symptoms of swine flu?

Only lab tests can definitively show whether you've got swine flu.

Is there a vaccine against the new swine flu virus?
To this writing, No. But the CDC and the World Health Organization are already taking the first steps toward making such a vaccine. WHO said that the pharmaceutical industry would be ready to produce an anti-swine flu vaccine by the end of June or early July."We're hopeful that by the end of June by the beginning July this will be the time that commercial companies will be in a position of being able to make a vaccine," said Keiji Fukuda.

What other treatment is there?

The swine flu virus detected in Mexico and the United States appears to respond to treatment with Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and Zanamivir (Relenza). The drugs should be administered within the first 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, according to the CDC.

How else can I protect myself from swine flu?
The CDC says that a good way to prevent any flu disease is to avoid exposure to the virus; this is done by frequent hand washing, not touching your hands to your face (especially the nose and mouth), and avoiding any close proximity to or touching any person that may have flu symptoms.

Can one contract swine flu from eating or preparing pork?
No. Pork and other pig-derived products, if properly handled and cooked, do not transmit swine flu. The flu virus is killed by cooking temperatures of 160°F (70°C).

Is there a pandemic risk on Influenza A(H1N1)?
Yes. If the Influenza A(H1N1) establishes efficient and sustained human-to-human transmission then it can cause an influenza pandemic.

Who is at the highest risk from H1N1
• Pregnant women
• Young children, especially those under 12 months of age
• Elderly people are at high risk of severe flu disease, but relatively few swine flu cases have been seen in people over age 65
• People with heart disease or risk factors for heart disease
• People with HIV infection
• People with chronic diseases
• People taking immune-suppressing drugs, such as cancer chemotherapy or anti-rejection drugs for transplants

Sources, Updates and More Information about A(H1N1):
http://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/en/
http://www.doh.gov.ph/h1n1/
http://www.reuters.com/news/globalcoverage/swineflu
http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/flu-guide/20061101/swine-flu-faq
http://www.medicinenet.com/swine_flu/article.htm


5 comments:

breehill said...

I tried this great program with my kids called Germy Wormy Germ Smart. It helped even my 3 year old understand how germs spread and how to NOT spread germs. It was so much fun, and it was amazing how quickly they learned healthier hygiene habits!

Sher said...

Hi Czaroma,
This is very helpful information--we all need to be vigilant against this flu outbreak! Being armed with the correct information is 1/2 the battle of prevention!

WBSD is almost here! Please visit http://sheroffthebeatenpath.blogspot.com for updates and the link list.

This should be a fun one with the theme of food! Can’t wait to see what the posts will be like on Saturday!

Have a great day,
Sher :0)

conversationswithmoms said...

I never got the flu vaccine but will definitely get one for myself and my family this year. I cannot believe this outback is still going on. We just has our first death in my province this week.

czaroma said...

@ Sher, yes everyone really needs to take extra precaution for this flu outbreak!

... I'm excited to take part on WSBD! Thank you so much :)

czaroma said...

@ conversationswithmom, it is sad to hear about that news. Hope we'll all be safe from all these and that the virus won't affect much people.

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