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.