Health: Swine Flu
For all my fellow swine out there (what can I say, I've been in a swinish mood lately, and the pain meds don't seem to be helping), a little pertinent information on the purported pandemic flu we're in the middle of, currently.
First of all: DON'T PANIC!
Hope those letters were large and friendly enough for you. No, srsly, don't panic. So far, the swine flu cases in the U.S. have been relatively mild. No one has died, and no one has become seriously ill. Plus, this strain of flu appears to respond well to existing doses of Tamiflu. So, once again: DON'T PANIC!
HuffPo has a list of the things you need to know to protect yourself. As you can see, not a whole lot is known about the flu, except that (1) It's a new strain; (2) Although Mexico reports that 149 people have died from this flu, only 20 of those are confirmed. The rest are still being tested. No deaths have occurred in the U.S. It seems we're being hit with a milder strain; (3) Commonsense precautions should be sufficient — wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially if you're around people who are sneezing and coughing; Don't sneeze all over your fellow swine, I mean humans; If you're in a health care setting, wearing a mask might help. Ditto if you're in really crowded conditions; (4) Tamiflu and Relenza work fine, although you shouldn't use them as a prophylactic. Older medications are ineffective.
In other words, don't panic. Don't rush to get antiviral medication if you're not suffering any symptoms at all. You're just helping germs and virii develop resistance to the current medication, which is great for those lifeforms, but not so great for you, or pigs, or, for that matter, birds. In the meantime, please don't go to Mexico unless you have an overwhelmingly good reason, like your nonagerian grandma is ill enough to have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. If you're European, Asian, or African (that is to say, resident in those parts of the world), don't travel to the Americas unless you absolutely have to.
Symptoms are typical flu symptoms — cold, cough, fever, chills, bone and joint pains. If you live in an area where swine flu has been detected, OR you've recently been to Mexico, call your doctor before deciding to rush in. Chances are, they're up to the eyeballs dealing with hysterics. If you don't have a fever, don't bother calling in at all. Chances are, you have something else — allergies, perhaps, or a sinus infection, which is bacterial, not viral.
The CDC is monitoring the situation. Check with them if you need updates.
You'll be pleased to hear that stalwart Republicans wanted the budget stripped of protection against a flu pandemic — like this one. Sort of like Louisiana Governor Piyush "Bobby" Jindal mocking the budget item for volcanic monitoring right before the volcano blew in Alaska. These are the same people who prayed that rain would destroy the Democratic convention and inauguration, only to find themselves on the receiving end of a hurricane during their convention.
If I believed in Gawd, I'd kinda think Gawd was trying to tell the Republicans to FOAD. Incidentally, they did manage to knock a whole bunch of money out of the funding for flu pandemics. I believe "moderate" GOP Senator Susan Collins was the blockhead responsible. Maine, can't you find someone a little more sensible to represent you? I mean, lookit, the Republicans keep wanting to cut taxes for corporations and rich people, but they don't want to spend a penny on sensible precautionary measures for the sick and poor. Someone should point out to them that viral pandemics don't examine your bank account before deciding to infect you.
Also, Republican idiots have been holding up the appointment of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Now might be a good time to express your wrath to your Republican Congresscritter in no uncertain terms. But then, why should they care? Thanks to us taxpayers, they have a gold-plated health care plan, may they only catch some incurable nasty that gives them permanent bowel drips.
And finally, in an effort to make you LOL and take your mind off this pandemic — Governor Goodhair, aka Rick Perry of Texas, who told us a week or two ago that Texas should secede from the United States (which, incidentally, is not something Texas has any right to do, so ignore his blatheramskate about the agreement made when the State of Texas joined the others, he's either lying or pig (heh) ignorant), is now down on his knees begging the Federal Government to send aid. Can't have it both ways, Governor, I thought you were seceding, you ambulatory pigturd. Well, the fine folks of Texas shouldn't be punished for failing to boot this idiot out of power, but hopefully his next run for office will find him flailing alongside a few other people who NEED to GO — like Susan Collins, Joe LIEberWHORE, Piyush Jindal, Jon Kyl, James "Pig-ignorant AND Liar" Inhofe, Michele "Fruity as a Nutcake" Bachmann, and the like. Stumble It!