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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

Pictures From Houston’s New Discovery Green Park

 

Today the wife and I visited the new Discovery Green Park in Downtown Houston.

You can go to this park by yourself if you don’t have a significant other.

Or maybe you just like time alone.

Above you see a picture of the pond in the park.

The city plans to stock the pond with alligators.

Discovery Green is an excellent park.

At the opening day events today, there were many people of all ages and colors.

The more inclusive something is, the better it is.  

Unless it is a flu epidemic we are discussing.

Below you see a picture of gardens in the park.

It is nice to look at a pond and it is nice to walk around gardens.

The garden is in both sun and shade because of the tilt of the Earth and our orbit around the sun.

We can’t forget the big picture. 

Learn more about this park by clicking here.

Or go see for yourself if you live in Houston or near Houston or are visiting Houston.   

April 14, 2008 Posted by | Houston | , , | 2 Comments