Severe Swine Flu

According the Yahoo News, the World Health Organzation (WHO) has reported a more severe form of the swine flu that is causing respiratory problems that require hospitalization. It appears that indigenous and minority groups of people are at a higher risk of severe swine flu infection. This could be due to several factors including lack of health care or poor overall health. Remember to stay safe by avoiding crowds, keeping your hands away from your face and washing hands.

Swine Flu Resurgence in Schools

According to Yahoo News, federal officials may not be jumping the gun this season on school closures. There is expected to be a resurgence in the Fall of the virus that has affected at least one million people, however, cases of the swine flu virus that appear in schools will likely be handled on an individual basis rather than by the initial Centers for Disease Control Guidelines which advised schools that had cases of the swine flu be closed for 2 weeks.

The swine flu has not stopped spreading as might be expected of a regular flu virus during the summer months, but continued to infect people. When school doors open in August, the H1n1 swine flu will likely come back with a vengeance due to the close proximity of students and the lack of hand washing that sometimes occurs among children. Make sure your children understand that they must be vigilant about washing their hands, avoiding close contact and keeping their hands away from their face to avoid spreading the swine flu virus.

Swine Flu to Hit Schools Hard

Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security Secretary, is expecting the swine flu virus to come back with a vengance in the Fall season after the start of school and before a vaccine becomes available. School begins in August, and the eariliest a vaccine would be available for widespread use is October. She expects that this flu season will be severe due to the fact that this virus is so new, no-one yet has an immunity.

In 1918, the swine flu virus killed almost 700,000 people in the United States. That pales in comparison to the worldwide deaths which were at least 50 million. Napalitano thinks that the pandemic may kill as many as 70,000 people and sicken up to 2 million in the world. This is more in line with statistics of the 1957 swine flu epidemic.

On average, around 40,000 people die and a few hundred thousand end up in the hospital in most normal flu seasons. For now it is a wait and see game.

When the flu vaccine becomes available it will likely go to those most at risk such as the elderly, pregnant women and babies, even though this flu has been shown to have the most devastating effect on those between the ages of 5 and 49.

Swine Flu Update

So whats new with the Swine Flu? Well, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a vaccine is now in the works to thwart the deadly virus. As of July 31, the virus is still affecting people, even over the summer months when most viruses just die. So what is causing this? Well, no-one really knows as of yet, however, it is continuing to spread.

The Swine flu (H1N1) virus is most deadly at the present for those suffering from illnesses that affect the lungs like COPD. It has also proved fatal for people with illnesses like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and those who are immune compromised. (CDC.gov) Unfortunately however, it is not isolated to the infirm. The virus seems to attack and kill young people at a startling rate as well. At least 250 deaths have occurred in people under the age of 49, including 142 deaths among people ages 5 to 24.

The government is currently attempting to procure the NovelH1N1 vaccine, which is expected to be available in syringe form and nasal inhalants. They are not sure as of yet how fast this virus will spread in the fall, so they cannot ensure that there will be enough vaccine for all of us. Keep your fingers crossed. States will be provided with the vaccine based on their population. The vaccine should be available around the middle of October, however, that is too late for the beginning of school and flu season that starts in September.

Children and the elderly will be the first to receive the vaccine. Of course, we do not yet know the side effects of the vaccine, so you may need to consider the risk factor before deciding to vaccinate yourself or your children. The H1N1 Swine Flu virus is generally mild, although that is no comfort to those who have lost loved ones or died themselves. As of this date, over 5, 500 people have been hospitalized and over 350 have died from the Swine flu in the United States. The first known case of H1N1 was in April 2009, and it has spread rapidly since first appearing.

So when it comes to the Swine flu, take every precaution to stay out of crowds, and not touch your face. There have been more deaths in populated areas than anywhere else, because it is much easier to transmit the flu to each other. The virus needs an opening, so if you touch your nose or mouth, you give it a point of entry. Keep your hands clean, do not sneeze or cough into your hands, but into the crook of your arm, and avoid large groups of people. Be sure your kids know the right procedures so they do not bring the virus home. More updates are to come, but in the meantime, stay healthy.