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Can we think this through? swine flu...

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by frizzyrazzy, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. frizzyrazzy

    frizzyrazzy Approved members

    Dec 23, 2006
    is the swine flu, in and of itself, any worse than any other strain of flu that comes through the country? Don't more people die of regular old run of the mill flu each year, flu that we generally have a vaccine for which many people do not get?

    so my question, why is there such panic over this?
  2. RosemaryCinNJ

    RosemaryCinNJ Approved members

    Mar 9, 2008
    Michelle..great question..but I dont have the answer. Im gonna guess that this strain of flu can and does do severe damage to the lungs...I think I read that someplace..??
  3. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

    Oct 22, 2005
  4. 2ladybugs

    2ladybugs Approved members

    May 14, 2008
    Not sure I have an answer Michelle. I'm not too worried about it yet. I think I would start to worry when our entire city is under quarantine. But that's a slim chance! I think you are correct in that there are more people that die every year from the plain old flu and it goes unnoticed! I think people are all freaked out over this because of the unknown. You can't change the unknown so why worry about it. Worry also doesn't solve anything, just creates panic. Once they have determined, without a doubt, that there is something to be concerned about then I will rethink my position. But for now, the girls are off to school as usual ~ sniffles and all! ;)
  5. fredntan2

    fredntan2 Approved members

    Apr 21, 2007
    they're worried about a pandemic hitting.

    all we can do is be prepared more than the next guy.
  6. My_Dana

    My_Dana Approved members

    Apr 25, 2006
    Well, keep in mind that a majority of the deaths have not been confirmed as from
    the virus.

    I have to agree with Michelle.
    Just need to keep this in perspective.

    In a typical flu season, we hear about 36,000 deaths..every year!
    And most are from complications of, such as pneumonia.

    So I have a hard time considering less than 100 'confirmed' deaths
    an "international emergency".

    If it wasn't for the media attention it's really a small blip on the stage of health issues.
  7. maryellen816

    maryellen816 Approved members

    Oct 26, 2008
    The fear is that it is a virus that humans do not have any resistance to because it is completely new. So if you come in contact with it you will likely get it. It could spread much more easily if it starts to take hold.

    So say 1,000,000 people contract the ordinary flu in a normal flu season and 5% die from it, the fear is that 100,000,000 people could contract the swine flu and the deaths would be unimaginable. Like fredntan2 said, it's the pandemic thing.
  8. Flutterby

    Flutterby Approved members

    Nov 11, 2006
    I think their main concern is they do not know anything about this flu.. its killing loads of people in Mexico.. but is that because they don't have the medicine avaliable to them that we do?? or is it the flu itself.. why are the people in the US and other countries dying from it? Its still mutating so they don't really know all that much about it, and thats what they are worried about.
  9. Reese'sMom

    Reese'sMom Approved members

    Jan 18, 2009
    The deaths in Mexico were healthy young people, and I think that's what's so alarming. So I would say that yes, this does seem more likely to cause death than other flu strains. Our kids are healthy (sort of), but at far greater risk for severe complications from any flu, so I'd say that's even more true for this one.

    I'm just wondering why the WHO decided not to begin production of a vaccination for this one. I understand that it would take months, but won't this flu strain still be around next flu season??? I don't like that decision.
  10. Omo2three

    Omo2three Approved members

    Jul 11, 2008
    I know its similar to the Spanish flu of 1918, where millions died. This is highly contagious swine flu that has mutated so that humans can pass it on. The strain is complicated. Thank God its 2009 and medicine is advanced and they know more about antiviral meds.
    I do believe the US is being smart with antiviral meds.
    for some reason US is not being affected the same as Mexico or is it too early to tell?
  11. Flutterby

    Flutterby Approved members

    Nov 11, 2006
    They are working on a vaccination already.. but it'll take 4-6months to get.
  12. wilf

    wilf Approved members

    Aug 27, 2007
    So far in the US/Canada, this is no worse than any other flu. But that could change quickly, whereas for other flus it won't.

    The virus is completely new (unlike the flus that come through each year, which are just variations on older strains), so the available flu shots do nothing to prevent its spread. There is no vaccine whatsoever to help suppress this outbreak.

    Also, because it is a new virus, our immune systems won't "recognize" it and be able to help us "shake it off" before we get sick with it as well as they normally would.

    Particularly worrisome is the fact that within Mexico the mortality rate has been quite high (about 150 of about 2000 cases, or 7.5%), and the fact that it has been hitting young healthy people the hardest there.

    For whatever reason, the virus has not been as nasty to date in the cases outside of Mexico. It is not clear yet whether that's because they were infected with a milder sub-strain or if there are other factors making it deadlier there.

    Problem is these viruses can evolve so fast that what's relatively harmless in the US/Canada this week could get much nastier next.

    Bottom line is, there is currently no need to panic. But there is a need to get to work now and do some basic planning for a worse-case scenario, in the event that this does turn into the global pandemic that health agencies the world over have been expecting to crop up for some time.

    You want to make sure you have all medical (incl. diabetes) supplies you would need for a few months in the house, as well as basic food supplies enough to last for a week or two.

    What you don't want to have to do (if this does spread widely and turns really nasty) is go out into public places to buy supplies at the height of an epidemic. Imagine going into a drug store (where all the sick people will be, spreading their contagion) to buy supplies to bring back into your house. Better to do that shopping now, when there is no risk and you're not under pressure.

    That's all. Do your planning and homework now. Maybe it blows over, and you did it for nothing. Ok. But maybe it doesn't - well then you're prepared.
    I see it as kind of like what folks go through along the coasts during hurricane season - if you prepare in advance, then you won't be caught short if things get messy.. :cwds:
  13. Gaia

    Gaia Approved members

    Jan 18, 2008
    Ok this was on Anderson Cooper 360 Blog on CNN. The Link is at the end, theres more info at the site. ( It wouldnt copy/paste the stats right, sorry ) They have listed the states & countries w/ confirmed & suspected cases. There are now 5 suspected in NJ & 22 in SC. I asked at work if we in health care should take Tamiflu. I was told that the media was over-reacting and that this 'bug' would die out. :confused:

    Swine Flu in Pigs:

    * Swine flu outbreaks in pigs mostly occur during the late fall and winter months.

    * Swine flu is a constantly mutating virus. Pigs are susceptible to viruses from birds, humans and other swine. When these different influenza viruses strike pigs, the genes can mutate and new viruses can develop.

    Swine Flu in Humans:

    * Swine flu is not common in humans. Occasionally, human infections with swine flu occur in people who have been exposed to pigs (e.g. children near pigs at a fair or workers in the swine industry).

    * Symptoms include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Other symptoms include runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

    * Drugs that treat swine flu in humans include: amantadine, rimantadine, oseltamivir and zanamivir.


    * 1930 - The classical swine flu virus (an influenza type A H1N1 virus) is first isolated from a pig.

    * 1976 - Swine flu (Hsw1N1) breaks out among soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey. 13 soldiers are infected and one dies.

    * 1976 - The U.S. begins a nationwide vaccination program against a type of swine flu known as Influenza A/New Jersey/76. However, the program is suspended after people die within hours of receiving the vaccination. More than 500 people develop Guillian-Barre syndrome after the vaccination and 32 people die.

    * September 1988 - A woman dies of the H1N1 flu virus days after visiting a county fair pig exhibition where there was widespread influenza-like illness among the swine.

    * December 2005 - February 2009 - The CDC reports 12 cases of swine flu among humans.

    * April 24, 2009 - The CDC issues an outbreak notice warning travelers of an increased health risk of swine flu in Central Mexico and Mexico City.

    * April 26, 2009 - The U.S. declares a public health emergency as cases of swine flu in the U.S. increase.

    * April 27, 2009 - The World Health Organization raises the influenza pandemic alert to a level 4.

    That?s the background. The number of cases keeps changing. We?ll have the latest figures for you on the program and get even more details. Should you and your family be worried? What can you do to protect yourself? We?re covering all the angles.

    Share your thoughts on the outbreak below.

    And, join us at 10pm ET for all the late breaking details.


    Phase 1: ?No viruses circulating among animals have been reported to cause infections in humans.?

    Phase 2: ?An animal influenza virus circulating among domesticated or wild animals is known to have caused infection in humans, and is therefore considered a potential pandemic threat.?

    Phase 3: An animal or human-animal influenza reassortant virus (a combination of at least two other viruses, as WSJ explains) has caused sporadic cases or small clusters of disease in people, but there haven?t been ?community-level? outbreaks. This ?limited transmission? doesn?t mean that the virus is spreading easily enough among humans to cause a pandemic.

    Phase 4: A reassortant virus is causing community-level outbreaks, meaning there are sustained disease outbreaks in a community. This marks a ?significant upwards shift in the risk for a pandemic.? However, a pandemic isn?t necessarily a forgone conclusion.

    Phase 5: There is human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region. Most countries aren?t affected at this stage, but declaration of Phase 5 is a ?strong signal that a pandemic is imminent.? There is little time remaining to finish the organization, communication and implementation of the planned mitigation measures.

    Phase 6: In addition to the countries affected in Phase 5, there are community-level outbreaks in at least one other country in a different WHO region. A global pandemic is occurring.

  14. wilf

    wilf Approved members

    Aug 27, 2007
    It could be argued that we're on the verge of or already at Phase 5..

    Note that US cases are now at 50:
    - 28 in New York,
    - 13 in California,
    - six in Texas,
    - two in Kansas,
    - one in Ohio.
  15. hughsfan30

    hughsfan30 Approved members

    Nov 15, 2007
    This to is starting to worry me, I mean last time Jacob got the flu he ended up in the hospital! Our news people are telling us not to panic, national stations are saying take extra precautions, do we take this as just the flu or something worse? Does the flu shot help against it???

    >>Scared mommy!!:eek:
  16. skyleysmom

    skyleysmom Approved members

    Apr 17, 2009
    How can I possibly stockpile a few months worth of diabetic supplies when my DD's prescription is only for a months worth of insulin at a time and once a vial of insulin has been opened it is only good for 28 days?
  17. lynn

    lynn Approved members

    Sep 2, 2006
    You could ask the endo's office if they could give you a couple of bottles of samples. Nathan's endo did that for us in the beginning because he wants us to have some back-up.
  18. Mavrik

    Mavrik New Member

    Apr 28, 2009
    One of the biggies with this outbreak of "Swine Flu" is its similarity to the Spanish Flu of 1918 which killed 20 - 50 million world wide.

    - Being a new virus humans have no immunity towards it, which makes it easier to contract.

    - There is currently no vaccine and the common flu shot does nothing towards this strain. [although a vaccine is in the works, but will take 4 - 6 months]

    - It is killing otherwise healthy young adults, which is very uncommon with your standard flu. Some believe that this is due to cytokine storm [an overreaction of the immune system].

    -It is deadly. First reported death on April 13 in mexico, now just two weeks later-- in half a dozen countries, half a dozen states, with mexican death toll now near 200.

    It is more dangerous than your average flu, and hopefully will pitter out. If history is anything the flu of 1918 came and hit a bit hard during the spring, slowed during the summer and came back full force fall and winter ultimately killing 20 - 50 million. The governments of the world are being just trying to be cautious to avoid a repeat of history.

    The best you can do right now is-
    -get plenty of rest.
    -healthy diet.
    -wash hands regularly. [especially before meals or contact with face]
    -avoid highly crowded areas.
    -sneeze or cough into tissue, and discard.
    -keep blood sugars in check!

    See doctor if you have fever of 101 or greater, flu like symptoms [couch, chills, muscle achs, headaches, nausea or diarrhea]
  19. Denise

    Denise Approved members

    Jun 24, 2008
    Thinking of buying those masks for the swine flu? They just had a segment on GMA...and an expert says that if you want to use those masks, you MUST change them every few hours. The masks act like a sponge after it absorbs the stuff you are trying to avoid...holding it there very close to your nose and mouth making it MORE likely you have the germs near you. Right now they are not recommending you have the masks...that it's not necessary.
  20. Lee

    Lee Approved members

    Oct 5, 2006
    From what I have read the true worry is that it is VERY similar to the Influenza spread of 1918 - the Spanish Flu...

    Here in the Us - it isn't that bad - yet. The Spanish Flu also started like this, with a summer mild outbreak. Then it came on full force later in the year. It was an autoimmune flu which resided in the lungs and 'tricked' the body into attacking lung tissue instead of the virus. Similar things - attacks on the lung tissue - are being witnessed in Mexico.

    I guess the reason I am most worried is becuase I have always thought that Coco's white blood cells were tricked into attacking the pancreas instead of the tummy bug that she had a few weeks before diagnosis...it worries me that her immune system is easily fooled...

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