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Swine Flu—An Explanation With Hand Washing Tips

Many people in Mexico have died from Swine Flu.

(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.)

( 4/27/09–The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention has a Swine Flu web page up.)

( 4/28/09—Now 1oo cases outside of Mexico though it is still not clear how bad it all be.)

( 4/29/09—More than 2,500 cases worldwide. Almost all deaths still within Mexico.)

(4/30/09—Still not certain how big a threat the outbreak will end up being.)

(5/1/09—The science of fighting flu is much advanced since 1918 epidemic.)

(5/3/09–Not spreading as fast as feared and not as deadly as feared.)

( 5/5/09—1124 cases in the world so far. Virus remains mild.) 

Here are my seven swine flu poems.

Below are three people in Mexico City who are hoping not to catch the Swine Flu.

Women wear masks as they wait inside a Mixcoac health centre in Mexico City (Source: Reuters)

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.”

This CBC Q & A article covers many of your questions.

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 the full article.

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.

File:Ford meets with Rumsfeld and Cheney, April 28, 1975.jpg

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.

File:XN Sus domesticus Animal husbandry 912.jpg

There are many diseases people can catch from animals. Like Cat Scratch Disease.

Please wash your hands after you play with your pet or with an animal.

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.

April 25, 2009 Posted by | History, Please Wash Your Hands | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Please Wash Your Hands—December 2nd–8th Is National Handwashing Awareness Week

  

Why can’t we wash our hands more often? 

( 2008 update–National Handwashing week for 2008 is December 7-13.) 

National Handwashing Awareness Week, which runs from December 2 through December 8, 2007, is a chance to renew your commitment to handwashing.   

The picture above is of Henry The Hand. Henry is an advocate of handwashing. He is pictured here with Rob Portman of Cincinnati who, regretfully, was once my U.S. Representative. Though it does seem Mr. Portman and I agree on handwashing.   

Dr. Will Sawyer of the Cincinnati area owns the copyright to Henry.  

Here are some tips on good handwashing—

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.

To prevent chapping or dry skin, use a mild soap with warm water, pat rather than rub hands dry, and apply a moisturizing lotion liberally afterwards.

When there is no soap or water available, waterless hand soaps or scrubs are a good alternative. They’re usually available as a liquid, wipes, or towelettes, and often come in small travel sizes that are perfect for keeping in your book bag, car, locker, purse, or sports bag.

Remember, proper and frequent hand washing is the key to preventing the spread of many common infections. So hum a few verses of “Happy Birthday” and lather up!

Here is a link to a  recent New York Times column about the lack of handwashing in our society. There is also a history of handwashing in the piece. It was written by Katerine Ashenburg who is author of the book The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History.

Here are the last two paragraphs of this article—

By the mid-19th century, people were timidly experimenting with bathing, but scientists still believed that disease spread through decaying matter and bad smells. When Ignaz Semmelweis insisted that Viennese doctors wash their hands in between performing autopsies and delivering babies, he was ridiculed, even though the practice greatly reduced death from puerperal fever. Semmelweis’s simple but radical idea gained currency only in the 20th century. The germ theory slowly triumphed — but until the development of sulfa and antibiotics, almost the only way to fight microbes was by washing them off.

Even with antibiotics, washing off microbes remains an excellent idea. This ancient mark of courtesy is now celebrated in public health campaigns, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has anointed it as “the single most important means of preventing the spread of infection.” So, learn from science as well as the wisdom of our ancestors, and wash your hands.

And look folks, as it says above, if you use a public restroom, wash your hands, and then touch the door handle with your bare hands–you’ve lost all the good effects of your handwashing. Open the door with a paper towel in hand.

December 1, 2007 Posted by | Books, Cincinnati, Please Wash Your Hands | , , , , | 6 Comments

Carnival Cruise Ship Conquest Is Smoke-Belching Disease-Producing Monstrosity

 

The Carnival Cruise ship Conquest is a smoke-belching, disease-producing monstrosity. 

I saw this ship today docked at Galveston, Texas. It was letting off a lot of dirty smoke into the air. Here is a link about cruise ship pollution.

Why is this ship called the Conquest? I don’t know. Much of the native population of the Caribbean was exterminated some time ago. Who is left to conquer? Here is a link to Caribbean slavery. Here is link to smallpox. Here is a link to venereal disease.

What the ship should be called is the Tax Avoidance. Tax avoidance is why it is registered in Panama.

On board ship, passengers may contract Norwalk virus. This affliction can also be termed viral gastroenteritis. There have been repeated outbreaks of Norwalk virus on cruise ships because people don’t wash their hands. The passengers make each other sick.

Here is a link about low pay for the crew on cruise ships.

Here are some real facts about Jamaica instead of the little you see when you take a cruise that stops in that nation.  

Here is a story about comments Pope John Paul II made pertaining to the exploitive aspects of tourism. Here is another link to the same subject.

Cruise junkie.com has a lot of good information about cruise ships. It has lists of cruise ship accidents, illness outbreaks, the number of people who have fallen overboard and other good stuff. 

September 3, 2007 Posted by | Galveston, Please Wash Your Hands, Sea Life, Taxes---Yes!, Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Houston-Bound Travelers Fail To Wash Hands After Using Restroom At O’Hare Airport In Chicago

Travelers headed to Houston,Texas used a men’s room at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and then failed to wash their hands. This took place on the afternoon of February 19, 2007. I saw it happen. 

These people used the restroom, walked right past the sinks in the restroom, and then boarded a Houston-bound airplane.

It’s possible that some Houston passengers were concerned that the airplane would not be icky and germy enough without their help.

Some of these people may be walking the streets of Houston right now. Others have made their connections and are spreading Chicago toilet germs all over the Earth.

O’Hare is one of the world’s busiest airports. One can only guess how many people use the restrooms.

My friend Shannon in Colorado has told me that “hands are made for hugging.” I’ve countered her claim with the statement that “hands are made for washing.”

Please wash your hands.  

February 20, 2007 Posted by | Houston, Please Wash Your Hands | 17 Comments

French Separatists Fail To Wash Hands

An outbreak of nasty stomach flu is afflicting Quebec.

From anecdotal accounts I’ve heard, a nasty stomach flu has also been in Houston.

One way the stomach flu is spread is when people fail to wash their hands. 

This is disturbing to me in many respects.

Please wash your hands as often as possible. 

January 13, 2007 Posted by | Please Wash Your Hands | 3 Comments