Swine flu, like the avian flu in 2006, has gained a lot of press as it quickly spread throughout the developing and emerging world.
The imagery of large crowds wearing surgical masks and wholesale slaughter of entire livestock populations adds further intensity to an already serious situation.
At SwimJim, we are not doctors but, as child educators, it is incumbent upon us to educate ourselves with information from national and local authorities. We want to be prepared and help you prepare yourself and your family.
Following the National & Local Authorities
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s site has the lastest statistics and information for swine flu around the entire country. It also has recommendations for public health professionals at the local level. You can sign up for real-time email or RSS feeds from the CDC on their site or follow them on Twitter (“CDCemergency”).
Because decisions like school closings are made by local government agencies, we also went to county health websites for our various locations, such as Houston’s Harris County Public Health website. They have a special swine virus resources page that contains several useful PDFs including how to protect yourself and your family and key facts about swine flu in humans. The majority of these documents are available in both Spanish and English.
What Did We Learn?
We learned some interesting things about swine flu, how it is spread and how to protect ourselves.
1) Every single resource we read mentioned vigorous and vigilant hand-washing as a primary means to minimize infection.
2) See your physician immediately if you or your child feels ill or demonstrates the following symptoms: fever over 100′; exhaustion; lack of appetite; coughing, sneezing and other flu-like symptoms.
3) You can’t get swine flu from eating pork.
4) If you are sick, stay home.
5) Swine flu is very treatable in humans but widespread immunization is not being pursued. At the moment, the authorities are focusing on immunizing hospitalized patients and other minorities with increased predisposition to getting flu and flu-like diseases.
6) Swine flu is not believed to be more dangerous than the common flu we are all familiar with.
We hope you find this helpful.
Please give us your feedback and comments. We’d love to hear from you!
The SwimJim team