Don't Touch That Pork: A Few Swine Flu Truths And Myths

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With all the wailing and gnashing of teeth involved with the latest flu outbreak, I think it's time we set a few things straight about the swine flu. Think of it as a little public service announcement just to shock some of you out of that panic and get you thinking straight.

First of all, pork is safe. Yes, I know it's called swine flu but it's nothing like mad cow disease. That's why there's a flu at the end instead of disease, of course. The disease spreads via the same way normal flu spreads: contact with a contaminated area or person then contact with either the eyes, nose, or mouth of the prospective infected. Cooked pork can't possibly be ever infected because cooking and preparation make sure that the meat is clean and healthy for consumption. So, yeah, no need to worry about the ham and bacon in the supermarket.

Secondly, there's a treatment. Zanamivir and oseltamivir are neuroaminidase inhibitors which is a fancy description of what they do; they're a type of antiviral drugs that inhibits cell reproduction of viruses so that they won't spread in the patient's body. The Center for Disease Control has highly recommended their use for the treatment and control of the disease. Actually, if you find yourself sick, you can do initial treatment via the normal over-the-counter antibiotics that you use when dealing with the normal flu. These can help make the symptoms more bearable and help your body resist the disease better. Those and quite a bit of bed rest can go a long way to make you feel better.

Thirdly, it's not gonna kill us all. Even at the height of the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, with its more than fifty million worldwide death count, the human race wasn't exactly in danger. Plagues and diseases have been a part of human civilization and history for years. Humans have a way of surviving and infections eventually burn out, one of the disadvantages of killing your hosts too quickly. The bodycount may pile high but no natural disease can eliminate the human species that easily. Besides, like I mentioned earlier, it is treatable and you can recover from it.

Fourth, it's not that contagious. Okay, yeah, it's contagious, but like all diseases it has its particular infection vectors and if you know those vectors, a disease can easily be avoided. In this case, swine flu it may be, but it's still the flu. This means it spreads through the contact points I said earlier. Regularly washing your hands before eating is a step in the right direction and, also, not hanging around sick people, though that one should be pretty obvious.

Fifth, it's still the flu. The description maybe a bit vague and the name exotic, but it's still the flu in the beginning. You'll know you're from it the same way you know you're sick from the flu: colds, coughs, chills, and fatigue. That's the initial stuff though. If you were smart, you'd have taken your antibiotics and lessened the effects. If you're okay after a few days, that was just the normal flu. However, if the symptoms persist, and you start to vomit or start to suffer from diarrhea, then it's swine flu and you better call for a doctor.

Well, that's all then. Hopefully, these bits of information help clear up a few things about the swine flu and help you to undestand the currect situation the world is in.


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