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Community Comment

Posts tagged: swine flu virus

A love note…

Good morning Netizens…

Here is an anonymous note I received this morning (although various suspects do come to mind)

I will seek and find you.

I shall take you to bed and have my way with you.

I will make you ache, shake & sweat until you moan & groan.

I will make you beg for

  mercy, beg for me to stop.

I will exhaust you to the point that you will be relieved when I’m finished
with you.

And, when I am finished, you will be weak for days..

All my love,

The Flu

Now get your mind out of the gutter and go get your flu shot!

Caught the common cold…

Good morning, Netizens…

Well, I think I’ve got it, that being the flu, not the porcine variety; just the plain old Spring cold that comes around every year about this time and glares at me from the bottom of my lungs. I awoke yesterday at my appointed time with a cough, a little bit of the infamous post-nasal drip and a general feeling I needed to go back to bed before I’d even gotten out of the rack. About an hour later, I did just that – went back to bed with an over-the-counter decongestant coursing its way through my bloodstream.

What I have constantly been asking since then is, how can I tell whether this is the Big Ugly, Swine Flu Virus, or just the plain old Spring Cold that we all know and love? With the Swine Flu panic still continuing to crest, there are a lot of similarities between a Spring Cold and Swine Flu, so many perhaps that you probably couldn’t tell the pair apart, short of a CDC test. Hacking cough? Yes. Runny nose? No. (It’s all going down the back of my throat) General aches and pains? Yes. Fever? No. Lethargy? Yes, but that seems to have gone away today. After all, I’m sitting in my bathrobe in the Great Chair where I belong, right? Lack of appetite? No, I am still eating like a horse, and probably will until the day I die. Some people with swine flu also have reported sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. No, I don’t have any of those. YET.

Just so we know it, when do I hit the Big Red Button on my forehead and go see the doctor for a Swine Flu test? What the Center for Disease Control doesn’t ever mention in any of their advisories is, barring any medical insurance, it could cost you somewhere between $45 and $100 for an office visit, even more if you factor in the cost of lab work to see if you have the bug. Years ago, when you spent that kind of money, you got a sweetly smile, a firm handshake and cordial thank you for your trouble. Today you do not get anything. Just a glazed look that seems to suggest you are just another rube on the ferris wheel of life and a hearty pat on the back for good luck.

That is, God forbid, unless the tests come back positive, that you have the Swine Flu. Then you enter the zone of what I call Perpetual Statistics. In addition to your clinician and your lab all peering at you, probing you with bizarre instruments and wearing face masks, you have medical care on steroids, and I give you the perfect bureaucratic medical solution, the CDC.

However, I do not think I’m there yet. I’ve caught a cold from my granddaughter who is saintly enough to make you weep, but brought something home from school last week. She opened the door and influenza.


Are you concerned? Are you prepared?

Good afternoon, Netizens…

With the news still hovering in the air like a giant diseased bat about to land in your hair, the World Health Organization this afternoon raised the alert level for the so-called Swine Flu Virus to 5, one stop short of declaring a full-blown pandemic.

While they have asked if people are concerned over in Huckleberries Online, the unspoken question, one that truly bothers me more than that is, how many people are prepared for a world-wide pandemic?

We potentially are talking about wholesale government shutdowns, major shopping centers closed or at least heavily-restricted.The fallout from a pandemic could be much worse than perhaps anyone now recognizes.

At very least we may be forced to wear those tawdry face masks such as they have donned in Mexico.

Always in the spirit of irreverence, do you think it would be too much to ask for designer facial masks if a pandemic does occur?


The irreverent side of swine flu virus…

Good morning, Netizens…

Here are some facts about swine flu you might not have heard in discussions about swine flu or pork barrel politics:

Q. What is swine flu?

A. Swine flu is a highly contagious acute respiratory disease normally found in pigs. It spreads through tiny particles in the air, by kissing infected pigs or humans. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) it tends to infect large numbers of a given pig population, killing between 1 and 4 percent of those affected. Not every animal infected displays symptoms although lipstick on a pig snout is a sure sign someone has been kissing the pork. Politicians, particularly in a re-election year, appear to be particularly susceptible to kissing pork in a barrel.

Q. Where do outbreaks occur?
A. Swine flu is considered endemic in the United States, and outbreaks in pigs have also been reported elsewhere in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and parts of eastern Asia. In short, most pigs around the world can be infected. Although you can ask any pig if they are infected, be especially cautious about asking wild boars because they are contentious and dislike answering questions from strangers.

Q. How do humans contract the virus?
A. People usually become infected through contact with pigs, though some cases of LIMITED human-to-human transmission have been reported. Don’t kiss any pigs. In fact, don’t kiss anyone you don’t know.

Q. Is it safe to eat pork products?
A. The World Health Organization says properly handled and prepared pork products are safe to eat. The swine flu virus dies when heated to temperatures of 160 F/70 C or higher. Make certain any pigs you encounter are at or above that temperature.

Q. Does a vaccine for swine flu exist?
A. Pigs in North America are routinely vaccinated for swine flu, but no vaccine exists for humans, whether they are prone to kissing pigs or not. In any case, the flu virus evolves quickly, meaning that vaccines are soon obsolete. Health officials say there is no suggestion that the vaccine prepared for seasonal flu will protect against swine flu. The swine flu virus detected in Mexico and the United States appears to respond to treatment with oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza). In terms of prevention, maintaining good hygiene, for example regular hand-washing and staying a safe distance from those infected, may help.


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