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Swine Flu Death Rate Lowers In 2010

The number of deaths attributed to swine flu in the US was once again below the epidemic threshold during the week of Dec. 27, 2009-Jan.2, 2010, according to the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who released a statement on Friday.

“During week 52 (ending on Jan. 2), 7.4% of all deaths reported through the 122-Cities Mortality Reporting System were due to P&I. This percentage was below the epidemic threshold of 7.5% for week 52,” the CDC said on its website.

The epidemic threshold is the point at which the observed proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia or influenza is significantly higher than would be expected at that time of the year in the absence of substantial influenza-related mortality.

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H1N1 Vaccine Deaths a Legitimate Concern?

Four people have apparently died of the H1N1 vaccine in Sweden. Two elderly patients who had preexisting health conditions died just days after receiving the swine flu vaccine and two others who also suffered from health conditions. It has not been proven that the swine flu vaccine caused their deaths.

CBS medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said, “In medicine we can never say with 100 percent certainty that anything is safe. There are always risks. You have to balance proposed risks versus proposed benefits, and the risk of this virus, we know is particularly high for younger people, including children. The risks of the vaccine, which you can never say are zero as all government health officials and scientists have told us are so low, they are (immeasurable).”

Symptom Cold H1N1 Flu
Fever Fever is rare with a cold. Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the H1N1 flu.
Coughing A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold. A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the H1N1 flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).
Aches Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold. Severe aches and pains are common with the H1N1 flu.
Stuffy Nose Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week. Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the H1N1 flu.
Chills Chills are uncommon with a cold. 60% of people who have the H1N1 flu experience chills.
Tiredness Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold. Tiredness is moderate to severe with the H1N1 flu.
Sneezing Sneezing is commonly present with a cold. Sneezing is not common with the H1N1 flu.
Sudden Symptoms Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days. The H1N1 flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.
Headache A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold. A headache is very common with the H1N1 flu, present in 80% of flu cases.
Sore Throat Sore throat is commonly present with a cold. Sore throat is not commonly present with the H1N1 flu.
Chest Discomfort Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold. Chest discomfort is often severe with the H1N1 flu.

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H1N1 Vaccine Risks

With the Swine Flu hysteria upon us, many people are just as concerned about the vaccination as the flu itself. Thus, many people have opted out of getting vaccinated because the drug was rolled out so fast, they are worried whether or not there are long-time risks and/or side effects from the vaccine that have yet to be discovered. People are of the opinion that if they do in fact contract the H1N1 virus, they will be able to treat the symptoms themselves.

Parents of young children are more concerned. Although the top concern are side effects to the H1N1 vaccine coupled with the fear that their children might get some other illness because of it.

In test groups for the swine flu vaccine shot, the most common side effects were localized problems at the injection site, including tenderness, pain, redness, swelling, and bruising. Other reactions reported, by less than half of those in the testing included headache, malaise, muscle pain, chills, nausea, fever, and vomiting.  Most the these reports were mild, with a few being moderate, and less than one percent being severe.

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Swine Flu Symptoms Checker

Think you’ve got the swine flu? How the hell do you know when all flu symptoms are alike? Here is a handy dandy swine flu checker to help you decide whether you have just an average run-of-the-mill flu, of if it’s the scary, scary H1N1 swine flu. There is also a list of warning signs that parents should watch out for in their children.

Swine Flu Symptoms in Adults:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Muscle Ache or Pain
  • Joint Pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Sore Throat
  • Runny Nose
  • Sneezing
  • Loss of Appetite

Swine Flu Symptoms in Children:

  • Trouble Breathing
  • Behavior Changes
  • Increased Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Isn’t Drinking Enough Fluids
  • Skin Rashes
  • Dehydration
  • An Uncomfortable State

You should call your GP directly if:

  • you have a serious underlying illness
  • you are pregnant
  • you have a sick child under one year old
  • your condition suddenly gets much worse
  • your condition is still getting worse after seven days (or five days for a child)

If you are still concerned after checking your symptoms, you should call your doctor who may suggest a course of antiviral treatment, especially if you have health problems or are in a high-risk group like the elderly, women who are pregnant and young children.

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Swine Flu Symptoms Checker

Think you may have come down with the H1N1 swine flu? Symptoms are a sudden fever and sudden cough and if you don’t have a fever, you probably don’t have the swine flu. Other symptoms include typical flu symptoms: headache, fatigue, sore throat, chills, aching muscles, joint pain, runny nose, sneezing, diarrhea or stomach upset.

If you are still concerned after checking your symptoms, you should call your doctor who may suggest a course of antiviral treatment, especially if you have health problems or are in a high-risk group.

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Joe Biden Scares America with Swine Flu Interview

Vice President Joe Biden appeared on The Today Show and told Matt Lauer that he would not advise his family to go in confined spaces like airplanes and subway systems.

“I would tell members of my family — and I have — I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places now,” Biden said. “It’s not that it’s going to Mexico. It’s [that] you’re in a confined aircraft. When one person sneezes, it goes all the way through the aircraft. That’s me.”

The White House went into damage control, backpedaling furiously by advising that only those who are feeling sick should avoid public transportation. They also advised any travel to Mexico.

Those who take public transportation should not avoid it over the fear of contracting swine flu, but rather, just use precaution. Wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and stay home if you’re sick.

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White House Aide Contracts Possible Case of Swine Flu

The swine flu may have hit the White House. An aide working for the Obama Administration who had accompanied the President on a recent trip to Mexico became sick with flu-like symptoms, which looks to be a probable case of swine flu, the White House announced today. Three of his members also contracted the illness.

“This individual never flew on Air Force One,” press secretary Robert Gibbs said. “He was asked specifically if he ever came within 6 feet of the president and the answer to that was no.”

Gibbs said that the aide arrived in Mexico on April 13 and became ill on April 16. He developed flu-like symptoms on April 17, the day Obama left Mexico. The aide, who has not been identified, flew back via commercial airline to Dulles on a United flight on April 18.

“Obviously we’ll do everything in our power to ensure that what can be done to alert them will be done,” he said.

Gibbs added that Obama has had no symptoms of swine flu and doctors see no need to conduct any tests.

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Is The Swine Flu a Result of Factory Farming?

As the increasingly infamous Swine Flu makes its way across the globe, the blame game has already started to sweep the nations, and the alarmist news channels are milking this flu epidemic for all its worth.

The actual cause is not yet known (although some sources are starting to track and point fingers at a “Patient Zero”), but many are speculating that this virus could be linked to factory farming. When the CDC and the USDA conduct their investigation in Mexico, they will start with the industrial scale pig farms that have been growing in numbers over the last decade – as demands for “the other white meat” have increased. With the draw of cheap labor and land, American pig companies have been opening up pig factories in Mexico, where the outbreak started.

These factories, which raise thousands of pigs, have been putting the smaller and safer farms throughout Mexico and America out of business. This virus is a perfect example of the harm that factory farming causes to animals, humans and the environment.

Perhaps events like this Swine Flu scare, and people’s growing awareness of the pure evilness of these kinds of places will help to change the way we produce our food on an industrial scale.

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Public Health Emergency Declared for Swine Flu

The new Swine Flu is just like Bird Flu and SARS – some scary stuff. Now that there are 20 confirmed cases in the United States, a public health emergency has been declared.  New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that eight students at St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens were confirmed to be infected with the swine flu, while another 100 students reported flu-like symptoms at the school, which will be closed on Monday and Tuesday.

This strain of swine flu strain, which is a combination of pig, bird and human strains, has no vaccine. However, who have stressed the importance of individual care and good hygiene, have also extended more resources into medical surveillance and prevention.

“Flu viruses are very unpredictable. Outbreak of infectious diseases are very unpredicatable,” Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said. “We view this more as a marathon. We think this will continue to spread but we are taking aggresive action.”

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Swine Flu – What to Do

Margaret Chan, director general of WHO, said this about the H1N1 virus “This virus has, clearly, a pandemic potential. It’s a completely novel virus” The new strain spreads quickly and efficiently from human to human. This particular variant is new and deadly mash-up of human virus, bird virus, and pig viruses. Scientists say it’s cause for concern because people are getting sick without any encounters with pigs. Young, healthy people are dying at a very unusual rate, a familiar sign of the deadliest flu epidemics.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Experts offer a a few suggestions:

Wash your hands often. Hand-washing with soap and water is the absolute best thing you can do if you’re going to go out into the world and interact with other human beings. The CDC estimates that 80 percent of all infections are spread by hands.

Keep your distance. In other words, stay away from other people if you’re sick or if you’re concerned that they may be infected. It may not be especially practical when you have to go to work, but isolation and avoidance reduce your chances of getting infected or infecting others.

Symptoms of Swine Flu

Swine flu symptoms are similar to regular flu. Fever, body aches, sore throat, cough, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. If you feel ill, seek medical attention. So far, it’s important to note, this swine flu is treatable and survivable. It’s resistant to two of four antiviral drugs approved for combating the flu, Symmetrel and Flumadine.

On a positive note – two newer antivirals – Tamiflu and Relenza – appear to work well to combat the swine flu.

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