Ok folks. As of today, April 29th, there are 91-94 reported cases in the U.S. And the World Health Organization has raised the pandemic alert to LEVEL 5, just 1 short of a FULL BLOWN PANDEMIC.
But don't let this panic you because every year, 36,000 ppl die from regular influenza in this country alone. Keep your hands and your home clean, and if at all possible, I'd also recommend not traveling at this time.
Here's some basic facts about this potential pandemic EVERYONE should know:
There is a vaccine to protect pigs from the virus but currently no vaccine to protect humans from catching swine flu. A seasonal influenza vaccination grown and manufactured for humans will only partially protect a person. Since there are 4 substrains of swine influenza type A, the seasonal flu shot will give a person only partial protection from only one of the variations of the swine flu but not against the main species of the swine flu that we are seeing in the world news in the past week or so.The symptoms of swine flu closely mimic the symptoms of human influenza. Coughing, fever, runny nose, fatigue, headache and a loss of appetite are consistent with both human and swine influenzas. Additional symptoms which may require being seen by a physician include chills, nausea, congestion, sore throat, lethargy, a fever over 101 degrees, vomiting and diarrhea which can bring about dehydration and put the sick person at additional risk. This will usually land the person a night or two in the hospital with IV fluids and meds. Swine flu doesn’t usually infect humans but this does occur when a person has close proximity with pigs that are infected and then is around other people. The person can catch the swine flu virus from the pigs that are infected and it is then passed on from an infected person to others through coughing, sneezing and casual contact. Just as in human influenza, if a person touches something which has the flu virus on it and then touches their eyes, nose or mouth they can then contract that virus.