Unless you have been lying underneath a rock or living on some remote desert island you would know that the swine flu is currently the most potentially dangerous pandemic that has arrived on the scene. There are already 1600 reported cases in Mexico with 149 deaths and already over a dozen cases in San Diego it has started to really scare many people, especially me since I currently live in the San Diego area and I have all ready seen people starting to wear masks over their mouths. The disease also has spread to Canada, New Zealand and Israel. What is this swine flu, what do we currently know about it and what we can do to prevent ourselves from being infected with it in the near future.
The first thing we need to do is understand what the swine flue is. The swine flue is basically a swine influenza or disease of the respiratory system of the pig that has somehow mutated itself into a form that is infecting humans and is now known as the human swine flu or by its scientific name H1N1. The problem with diagnosing human swine flu is that the symptoms are very similar to the regular flu viruses. You would expect symptoms like couping, aches all over your body and excess coughing but unlike the regular flu virus this one can get much worse and can lead to death (death). The virus is also spread in the same fashion that the regular flu is spread, sometimes coughing or sneezing.
If you currently live in the zone that is swine flu infected or close to that area there are some easy precautions that you can take.
If any of you remember the Sars outbreak in china you also would remember that wearing gasmasks became a very popular way to help stem the spread of the virus. There are different types of gasmasks that are available in the market these days. Do not go for the cheap plastic gasmasks that are worn around the Halloween holidays or imitation masks. I am talking about a full gas mask that not only will prevent the spread of viruses but it's also very good to use just in case of biological warfare that could happen in the future. This way you would purchase a full gas mask which you not only can save but can also have a practical second use just in case an actual biological warfare attack should have been. This way you are protected in both cases. These types of gasmasks are usually worn around the large group of people such as college campuses or libraries in which there is a greater chance for you to contract the human swine flu just from someone sneezing or coughing. If you live around a designated risk area you should actually avoid college campuses or places with many people altogether.
Another thing you can do as an extra measure of precaution is to wear the plastic gloves that you have seen doctors and nurses wear during surgery. You would be very surprised at how many infected things the human hands touch each day. Also remember to avoid public bathrooms as much as you can as they are also another area in which infection can spread quickly. If you must use a public bathroom then please make sure that you wash up thoroughly with extra soap to make sure you are really clean when coming out. Always have a pair of throw away plastic gloves handy with also.
President Obama has also asked Congress for 1.5 billion dollars to help combat the spread of this disease, but I think the most effective containment would be to have a stronger containment of our borders. If just a few people can cross over the border unregulated and they are infected, who knows what kind of damage that could or how many people they can infect.
If ever there was a legitimate reason for me to start cleaning my room and keeping it clean, this is certainly the wake up call I wish I did not need.