By now, everyone is aware of the latest strain of the influenza virus that’s percolating around the globe. The virus, which started in pigs, spread to humans sometime in March 2009 in central Mexico. Since then, cases have popped up in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Spain. Fortunately, no deaths have been recorded outside of Mexico where close to 150 people have reportedly succumbed to the disease.
However, when the media uses big frightening words like “pandemic” and mention past cases of severe outbreaks, like the 1918 Spanish Flu, where almost 50 million people died.
While it’s unfortunate that people will lose their lives to this, it’s not going to surge out of control where huge swaths of human life will be wiped out. There’s too much fear mongering where people are complaining that this is attributed to the planet being overcrowded and this will signal the end of human life as we know it. I don’t know where people are getting this bull since it seems to be a popular theory in my office.
The only reason why outbreaks like this occur is most often attributed to poor sanitary conditions, lack of available or affordable medical care, and just general misinformation. Right now, there are six cases of the swine flu in Canada: two in British Columbia and four in Nova Scotia, with no new reported cases. Those who are suffering through it are experiencing a mild case of the virus and are expected to make a full recovery. While there almost 45 cases of the reported virus in the United States (possibly more, but until more testing is done, it could just be your average strain of the flu), no-one outside of Mexico has died from it.
You can keep yourself safe from this flu by following the basics:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds or more.
- Keep your hands away from your eyes and nose.
- If you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth with a tissue and dispose of it immediately after.
- If you sneeze or cough with your hand over your mouth, wash your hands immediately.
- If you do become sick, stay home and keep contact with others to a minimum.
Use your common sense people and you won’t even get sick. The swine flu is being blown out of proportion, and while it’s something to be concerned about, just don’t go overboard.