Swine Flu—An Explanation With Hand Washing Tips
(4/26/09 —The latest update from the Los Angeles Times. People are being checked as they cross the border to see if they have the Swine Flu.)
Below are three people in Mexico City who are hoping not to catch the Swine Flu.
What is Swine Flu? Here is the answer from the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) —
“Swine influenza (swine flu) is caused by type A influenza virus and gives pigs the flu. Swine flu viruses cause regular outbreaks of flu in pigs but death is infrequent. The viruses may circulate among pigs throughout the year, but most outbreaks occur during the late fall and winter months similar to outbreaks in humans. The classical swine flu virus (an influenza type A H1N1 virus) was first isolated from a pig in 1930.”
Here are the symptoms—
“The symptoms of swine flu in people are expected to be similar to the symptoms of regular human seasonal influenza and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.”
Seems a lot like your normal flu—But it is worse.
A terrible flu epidemic was the 1918-1919 Spanish Flu outbreak.
Here is information from the Federation of American Scientists—
The “Spanish” flu pandemic of 1918 and 1919 caused the deaths of 20-50 million people worldwide including up to 675,000 in the U.S. While only about 1% of those infected with the virus died, it became one of the deadliest viruses ever known to man. The 1918 flu has been described as capable of sickening and killing a person on the same day. The virus is an H1N1 type A influenza. Symptoms of infection were similar to, but more severe than typical, seasonal flu. Viral pneumonia leading to acute respiratory distress was the primary cause of death. Recently, the virus was reconstituted from frozen tissue samples from a woman who died from the virus.
Here is another article on the 1918-19 epidemic from the BBC. The article discusses how the virus did so much harm.
With both the Swine Flu and the 1918 epidemic you see that an A H1N1 virus is involved. What does that mean? Here is what it means.
There was a Swine Flu outbreak in 1976. President Gerald Ford asked that all Americans be innoculated. As it turned out, the disease only killed one person but the vaccine harmed hundreds and may have killed some. It is still debated if President Ford did the right thing. This article addresses that question.
(Above is a picture of President Ford with his then Chief of Staff Donald Rumsfeld (left) and his Deputy Chief of Staff Richard Cheney (right) . That’s enough to make you ill. Please click here for some good information on Gerald Ford from the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the U. of Virginia.)
Swine Flu comes from pigs. Pigs often make people sick. Diseases that go from animals to people are called zoonotic diseases. AIDS is a zoonotic disease that jumped from chimps to people. This took place after people ate chimps.
We can’t forget that people do a lot more harm to animals than animals to do people.
There are many diseases people can catch from animals. Like Cat Scratch Disease.
Here are Swine Flu facts from Web MD. There is no vaccine to prevent the Swine Flu. You can not get it from eating pork. Washing your hands and avoiding touching your nose or mouth will help you avoid the Swine Flu and all flu.
Here is how to wash your hands—
There’s a right way to wash your hands. A splash of water and a drop or two of soap won’t do the trick. Follow these simple steps to keep your hands clean:
- Use warm water (not cold or hot).
- Use whatever soap you like. Antibacterial soaps are popular but regular soap works fine. If you suspect that your hands have come into contact with someone with an infection, think about using an alcohol hand sanitizer.
- Rub your hands together vigorously and scrub all surfaces: Lather up on both sides of your hands, your wrists, between your fingers, and around your nails. Wash for 15 seconds – about how long it takes to sing “Happy Birthday.”
- Rinse well under warm running water and pat dry with a clean towel.
- In public restrooms, consider using a paper towel to flush the toilet and open the door because toilet and door handles harbor germs. Throw the towel away after you leave.