Swine Flu

Happy labor day, everybody!

Think that I’m just gonna stay home today… Can’t stay out till late tonight also, because I’ve got to return back to office early morning tomorrow for a major demo event.

Boo, that’s one off day wasted today, and my beauty sleep gone for tomorrow.

Worst of all, my parents are getting extremely paranoid over the swine flu spread. “It’s safe here in Singapore, but prevention is better than cure.” Hence, I’ve been officially banned from going for karaoke sessions.

What is life without music?! To add on, my new MP4 was corrupted last night and I have lost all my songs without backing them up. Now I feel as though I’m just leading an empty life. I need music to survive!

Anyway, please kindly read the undermentioned for some survival tips, should the swine flu outbreak become severe.

  • Don’t Get Swine Flu. This may seem obvious but it’s worth emphasizing: the best thing you can do is avoid getting swine flu. Do not go anywhere near individuals known to be infected. Avoid places, such as hospitals, where those who believe they are infected are likely to go. Unless necessary, do not travel to Mexico or any other place where swine flu has become highly concentrated. You should also consider avoiding sporting events, concerts or any other place where massive amounts of people will gather. Unfortunately, large trading floors at exchanges and even within investment banks may become hazardous if the outbreaks in urban areas become severe.
  • Hand Hygiene Will Help A Bit. Washing your hands may help a bit. Unfortunately, you are probably washing your hands wrong. You need to use very hot water, hot enough to make you uncomfortable, for at least half a minute. Think of surgeons prepping for an operation. Mildly warm water and ordinary soap will do very little. You should carry an alcohol based hand sanitizer, and use it frequently. Do not, however, be over-confident about hand sanitizer. Swine flu has an airborne component, which means you could be infected even if you kept your hands in your pockets.
  • Know The Symptoms. No, you aren’t going to start oinking and you won’t develop a pig snout. The symptoms of swine flu are very much like any other flu. You may have swine flu if you experience one or more of the following symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, diarrhea or vomiting.
  • Face Masks May Help A Bit, At First. Those surgical face masks you see people wearing in Mexico will not prevent transmission if you come in close contact with swine flu. The virus is small enough that it easily passes through the mask. If they work at all, they work to prevent the already infected from expelling the virus through their own sneezes. Ironically, people will probably shy away from you if you are an early adopter of face mask wearing. This extra personal space may help you avoid swine flu. But once masks become widespread, this benefit will no longer apply.
  • Anti-Viral Drugs. There are two main anti-viral drugs that may be somewhat effective against swine flu, Tamiflu and Relenza. Tamiflu is a pill, while Relenza is an inhalant. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of these drugs against this strain of flu virus is yet known. Drugs developed specifically for this strain will take several months to come on line. There is some danger of a negative reaction to the drugs. Perhaps the biggest problem is that these need to be taken within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, which means that if you plan to take anti-virals you should not try to ride out illness to see if it becomes severe. If you have a fever and want to use anti-virals, seek them immediately.
  • Vitamin C. Most mainstream medical professionals will tell you that taking Vitamin C will not prevent swine flu. No one seriously disagrees with that. Homeopathic and alternative medicine types, however, claim that taking massive amounts of Vitamin C may help your immune system combat the flu. Health consultant Jonathan Campbell recommends that you start taking 1000 mg of Vitamin C immediately, and increasing your dosage from there. Unfortunately, this amount of Vitamin C poses its own health risks, possibly leading to diarrhea and dehydration.
  • Vaccines. There is no existing vaccine for this strain of swine flu. A vaccine may be available when the second or third wave of swine flu hits this fall and winter. However, previous vaccines against swine flu turned out to be more dangerous than the disease. The 1976 infected 200 people, hospitalizing 12 people and killing one.  But 40 million people were been vaccinated, resulting in 25 deaths and at least 500 cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, which can be fatal. Until the risks of a new vaccine are known, you should avoid being vaccinated and refuse any vaccination you are offered.
  • Have food and water ready. In any crisis, from a bad storm to a deadly viral outbreak, it is a good idea to have at least a few days of food and water ready. There’s no need to panic about the food supply, but you shouldn’t be shy about buying some soup. Your water supply probably won’t be interrupted but having a couple of gallons of water in a cabinet won’t hurt you.

Adapted from: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-survive-the-swine-flu-pandemic-2009-4

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