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Swine Flu Facts

Part 1 of a 4-part seriesB00528_H1N1_flu_blue_sml

Though H1N1 (also known as the Swine Flu) is, ultimately, just another flu bug, it’s hard to avoid panic when bombarded with forecasts that the entire population may fall victim to a global pandemic.

Fortunately, getting the swine flu is not a sudden death sentence. In fact, a very small percentage of people who contract it die from it. Nevertheless, there remain several legitimate reasons that it is better to avoid contracting it at all, the least of which is that dealing with any flu virus is uncomfortable and inconvenient. More importantly, more people die from the swine flu than from any other known strain.

H1N1 was first discovered in La Gloria, a small town in Southern Mexico in March of 2009. Soon thereafter, more cases were reported in the United States and Europe, inspiring people to wear masks and gloves in public. Fear spread, as thousands worried about contracting the “deadly virus.” Surprisingly enough, the much-feared swine flu has a mortality rate of just 0.01%. This is, admittedly, a much larger percentage than the seasonal flu, which claims only %0.001 of its victims. So, it’s important to recognize the symptoms associated with every strain of the flu.

Unlike a common cold, Influenza usually starts suddenly and may include the following:

  • High Fever
  • Headache
  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or congested nose
  • Body aches
  • Diarrhea and vomiting

Having these symptoms does not always mean that you have the flu. Many illnesses, including the common cold, can cause similar symptoms. Although most of the symptoms of the seasonal flu and the swine flu are similar, the swine flu almost always includes vomiting and diarrhea, in every age group. And while a common cold can knock you out for a few days, a flu bug will usually persist for up to a week or more. If your symptoms seem more intense than a typical cold, seek medical attention.

Though people usually recover completely from the swine flu, the mortality rate seems to be the highest in people under age 25. Young children and babies also need to be careful when going out in public, where they could possibly contract H1N1. And while, oddly enough, elderly people seem to be more immune to swine flu than younger folks, they need to take special precautions, because the swine flu can cause respiratory problems, which can also lead to death.

Allied Universal, Inc. is dedicated to safety, and preparedness. If you are armed with information about the flu, it may be easier to avoid catching it in the first place. For more more information about the H1N1 virus, visit WebMD or the CDC website.

Next week in our special series about the swine flu, we’ll look at what you should do to stay healthy and prevent the spread of the Influenza.

In the meantime, BE SAFE!!!

http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/flu-cold-symptoms

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/01/health/01plague.html

http://scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2009/04/swine_flu_what_do_cfr_virulenc.php

http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/antibiotic-use/URI/colds.html

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