Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Monday, 4 May 2009

A Word on Influenza

Although it's a departure from the main theme of the blog, I would like to inform folks of what to worry about and what NOT to worry about regarding the current outbreak of H1N1 influence virus.

1) You can call it swine flu. However, it is traditional to name influenza outbreaks after the country of origin, hence the Spanish flu of 1918. As a result, the WHO is currently working to rename the outbreak as Mexican flu. This is not due to any chareidi attempts to control the WHO. They already control the banks.
2) Mexican/swine flu is simply a genetic variant of the common influenza virus. Because of this genetic variance, human immune systems have no initial defence against it, nor will the influenza vaccines injected last autumn/winter offer any protection. However, unlike the 1918 and 1968 outbreaks, this virus lacks the super-virulence genes that cause millions of deaths. It is unlikely (at this point) that we will see any further deaths except in people who are already quite ill and can't handle the strain of the infection.
3) The best way to prevent transmission of the virus is to practice meticulous handwashing, avoiding coughing in someone's face, and don't share drinks and food. In other words, the same as preventing the transmission of the common cold.
4) If someone has been to Mexico, they are not automatically plague infested. If they have been back a week and don't have any symptoms, they do not have the virus. Simple as that. Therefore, if your friend or neighbour just got back from Guadalajara and shook your hand on Shabbos, don't panic and run to your doctor for Tamiflu. It wastes your time and annoys the doctor.
5) Don't call your doctor and ask him for a prescription for Tamiflu "just in case". You won't get the 'script and the doctor will think you're a paranoid nut. If you have symptoms of the flu, then go see the doctor and he will decide if you need the medication.
6) Finally, in the unexpected event of the virus undergoing a genetic shift and becoming dangerously virulent, then I will delete this post, deny its existence, and run for the hills.


E-Man said...

I think that is a safe precaution. Maybe you should run now though just in case. Kinda like getting a vaccine at this point. Everyone is doing it.

Dr Mike said...

The vaccine is useless against swine flu. Annual vaccines cover against 3-4 strains that are felt to be the most prevalent in that season. That means no immune coverage for uncovered strains, like this one.