Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine

Undoubtedly, most are aware of the swine flu by now and the potential impact it has on pandemic fears. While cause for concern, it isn't cause for panic...yet.

Know the symptoms of the flu. That is, remember that influenza is a respiratory illness. Typically, if one doesn't have a cough (usually non-productive), fever and body aches, then it is unlikely that it is classic influenza. Common sense precautions are in order,
  • stay home if you are sick with mild symptoms, seek care if they worsen
  • wash your hands frequently, especially after touching your nose & mouth. (Most people don't wash their hands properly if you can believe it. You should wet your hands with water, use soap and scrub for at least 30 seconds {sing "Happy Birthday" twice to yourself}; be sure to get your wrists and under jewelry.
  • Phone your health care provider if you have specific questions. Also visit credible sites such as the CDC.
  • Anti-viral medications exist for pre or post exposure to the flu. Of course, these are not without their potential side effects and issues.
  • Seasonal flu vaccine probably doesn't protect against this strain of swine flu.

This is a trying time for the whole international community as this has the potential to negatively impact so many. Compound that with an already taxed healthcare system and it highlights the need for enhanced communication among providers and health reform. Now more than ever is the time to work together, collaborate and show how we can take care of one another. I, for one, will be ready.

1 comment:

Nurse Practitioners Save Lives said...

Yes, influenza is a respiratory illness but not every virus holds it's original course once it's crossed into the human population. They mutate. We are having a HUGE outbreak of sudden outbreak of all of the symptoms except for the cough and high fever. I'd like to see what it actually is and am thinking of maybe that being the reason why it's not as bad here. Something to think about..