I originally wrote this six months ago when I assumed that the mass hysteria from a strain of the flu (that is just like other strains except new) would die down within a month or so. With some of the ridiculous hyperbole being spewed and overreactions of parents and media alike, I thought I’d repost it for your education:
Swine flu hysteria is sweeping the nation. It’s the new SARS. And as usual, people are overreacting without properly understanding the risks, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. So, in order to help stem the flow of retarded panic, inform yourself (taken mostly from the CDC website):
Q: Why is it called “Swine Flu”?
A: Swine Flu (aka Swine Influenza) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. While there is rarely transmission between pig to person, this can happen in several rare situations, typically when there is contact between the human mouth and pig mouth, human mouth and pig genitalia, human genitalia and pig anus, and human mouth and pig anus. It is unknown at this time why the virus has started transmitting from person-to-person when past infection was limited and unsustainable beyond three people.
Q: Can I get swine flu from eating or preparing pork?
A: No, with a small exception. IF the pork product is particularly fresh and IF the product contains any pork anus, such as in a hot dog or sausage, the CDC recommends avoiding these products or cooking in boiling water for a minimum of 12 minutes to rid the chance of infection.
Q: Is the swine flu virus contagious?
A: Yes, the swine flu is contagious and is spreading from human to human without mouth to mouth, mouth to anus, or mouth to genitalia contact. At this point, it is not known how easily the virus spreads between people, but the CDC has provided the following list of activities that they recommend ceasing until the threat is over: kissing, blood drinking, fellatio, cunnilingus, anilingus, snowballing, golden showers, cleveland steamers, pearl necklaces, and sexual intercourse, both vaginal and anal.
Q: How does an infected person infect someone else?
A: Infected people may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 7 or more days after becoming sick. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. This does not mean, however, that if you think you’re sick, you should tell people that you have the swine flu. That will only cause panic and later, mocking.
Q: How long can an infected person spread swine flu to others?
A: People with swine influenza virus infection should be considered potentially contagious as long as they are symptomatic and possible for up to 7 days following illness onset. Children, especially younger children, might potentially be contagious for longer periods. It is suggested to prepare a clean room of your household, where you can keep the infected victim at all times. Your only contact with this person should be to feed them through an available opening, such as a cracked window or a dumbwaiter. Avoid all physical contact and even verbal contact if at all possible.
Q: What are the signs and symptoms of swine flu in people?
A: The symptoms of swine flu in people are identical to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. In the past, death has also been reported as the most serious sign of swine flu, although deaths that are unrelated to flu-like illnesses, such as motor vehicle accidents, decapitations, murder-suicides, trampling, or overdoses, should not be considered to be a symptom of swine flu.
Q: What should I do to keep from getting the flu?
A: First and most important: wash your hands. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. Try not touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. In addition, activities that increase your endorphins may make you more susceptible, so driving at high speeds, masturbating or other sexual activity, and running or jogging are all considered high-risk.
Q: Are there medicines to treat swine flu?
A: Yes. CDC recommends the use of oseltamivir or zanamivir for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with these swine influenza viruses. If you are unable to gain access to these or similar antiviral drugs, there are some homemade remedies that may also offer some remedial treatment and/or prevention. Eating raw bacon that has been highly salted can introduce antibodies into your system that can fight infection. Additionally, using a 2:3 mixture of Gatorade and laundry detergent, along with one cup of water per gallon of mixture, you can create a poutine to apply to your face, which will enter your airwaves and disinfect your system.
Q: What should I do if I get sick with swine flu?
A: If you live in areas where swine influenza cases have been identified and become ill with influenza-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting, diarrhea or death, you may want to contact your health care provider, particularly if you are worried about your symptoms. By ill-chance, if you lose your e111 card while you are sick, don’t panic, there are systems in place to ensure you the care you need. While you are sick you should stay home and avoid contact with as many other people as possible. If people continue to approach you, it may be a good idea to use a weapon of some kind, such a shotgun, to dissuade them from entering your premises. Fire only if you are fully convinced that they will come up to you, touch you, and become infected with swine flu.
Q: How serious is swine flu infection?
A: In pigs, swine flu is always fatal. First the pigs will bleed from the eyes, mouth, and other orifices. Next, they will become weak and unable to stand. Finally, the pigs’ lungs will collapse and they will die painfully. In humans, swine flu can vary in severity from mild to severe. If you begin bleeding from any orifice, please call 911 immediately, as death is likely imminent within hours if treatment is not sought immediately.