Wednesday, April 29, 2009

H1N1 is here

Today is was confirmed that there are three cases of swine flu, H1N1, here in my state. Two of them in the county where my favorite megalo mart is located. Oh joy.

The governor announced that any school with an infected student will be closed-as well as any schools those buses might also service.

Symptoms were listed, and a hotline number available. My understanding is that the key to the symptoms is the fever of 103F or higher. So I won't be calling them over my scratchy throat and stuffy nose.

I took the precaution of taking baseline temperatures of all of us this evening. Surely I felt flushed? My temp? 96.8 F-absolutely normal for me as I usually run cold. Willow was the high one at 99.6-but still under 100 and she did hold the thermometer in place-wasn't I told as a kid NOT to do that? The Firebird was just below the average baseline of 98.6F

Yeah, I still use an old -now banned- mercury thermometer. Shows how much we use one in this house. I think the last temp I took was Louise after her surgery three years ago-with the dog thermometer, of course. Ours is an oral one.

I spent sometime checking out facts about this flu. It is a new strain-no one has immunity. The flu shot will not give you immunity. It will take at least 6 months to develop a vaccine. Initial reports from Mexico show a fatality rate of 7%-extraordinarily high, but minor cases of infection might not be included, raising the mortality vs infection rate.

With folks on alert, we should quickly gain new insight on how virulent the new bug is. But in the meantime, the public cannot be cautioned strongly enough to STAY HOME if you are sick, especially with a fever.

Granted, folks may be contagious before symptoms appear, but Mexico's cases are dropping with their tough lockdown on public gatherings.

I do not believe that WHO would be raising alert status to 5 if this was something minor. Our governor would not be closing schools. I am not buying into conspiracy theories on this one.

I am not urging panic-but what would folks do if panicked, other than swamp the hotline? The sick need to stay out of circulation, not act like a little flu bug is no big deal. If you don't mind having it, fine, but I don't want it. And I don't want my kids and friends to get it either.

So, please keep your germs at home, thanks.

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