Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine flu is not a problem, until it istoo late.

Reading the swine flu reports and the publics comments makes me wonder, are people not worried? It is now phase 5!

There are some brave people wondering what is the panic about - so many people die of flu every year, anyway. Yeah. You might think differently if you healthy 25 year old son die from it. You may feel different once you see healthy healthcare professionals die from it.

Then there are some "intelligent" people out there who are pretty smug, as they live in developed countries. A few days ago, the went along the line that only Mexicans in Mexico die from swine flu, probably implying that Mexico is less capable of dealing with the flu cases? Then when the toddler dies in Texas, there was a few hours of quietness, before they discovered this child was a Mexican. Then they happily hum along the line that it is still only Mexicans that died of swine flu. Good grief. Have these people not thought of something called proprotions? Not everyone will die of the flu. If it is, then it is not so infectious! Some will recover and a portion will die. So far, the scary part is those who die are young healthy adults, as in SARS. We have not seen deaths in other countries because there are not many people who are infected yet. And so far, those people who were infected still have traceble, obvious risk factor - travel to Mexico, or direct contact to one of the few people who are confirmed cases. As the virus spread within a community, it will be less obvious who are the ones with just a flu and who is having swine flu. That makes detection a lot more challenging, and the spread much more likely.

And the best reassurance comes from people who noted that some people with swine flu just experience the symptoms of a typical flu. Good news? Yes and No. Yes because it means many people may be infected but will recover fully. No, because you will have these people walking around and infecting others who may have a more severe course of illness.

Perhaps it is just human nature. It is so easy to dismiss a problem when it does not happen to you. If you cannot see it or experience it yet, you cannot see how it can be a problem. It is when people experience it themselves, they feel the pain. Hmm sounds familiar. Isnt that a typical response to fatigue CFS sufferers have to endure? How many people will tell you that for goodness sake, everyone is tired. Pain of RA? I had friends competing with me about their level of pain when they sprained an ankle, or had injuries.

Is emphathy such a difficult skill to learn? I hope people see the swine flu outbreak seriously enough. Frankly, if this become a world wide pandemic, make sure that countries like US and UK who had been so "positive" and calm gets their deserved places in history.

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