Image Credit: US Army, Ft. Bliss
H1N1 Flu Pandemic Danger Is Over ... For Now
The World Health Organization (WHO) says the intensity of outbreaks has been reduced and H1N1 virus is no longer as dominant as it once was. The end of the H1N1 influenza pandemic is now in sight. Fear of H1N1 has now receded to the point that the WHO is expecting to declare the pandemic over in the next week or so.
We, at MAXINE, however, believe that after seeing how the Obama Administration responded to the BP oil rig failure in the Gulf of Mexico ... keep the filtration breathing masks that you bought and make sure to get you flu shots early ... and often!
Image Credit: World Health Organization
This excerpted and edited from the Globe and Mail (Canada) -
WHO to declare H1N1 pandemic over
By Joe Friesen - From Monday's Globe and Mail Published on Sunday, Aug. 08, 2010 11:17AM EDT Last updated on Sunday, Aug. 08, 2010 9:48PM EDT
For a few weeks last autumn, fear of pandemic influenza stalked the land. Death seemed to lurk around every corner. A sneeze in public could draw a reproachful glance, and every handshake sent the anxious fumbling for their hand sanitizer. Gradually, the panic subsided, to be replaced by confusion over all the fuss made by governments and public-health agencies.
Dr. Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization, said the panel of experts that advises the WHO is feeling increasingly confident H1N1, which has killed more than 18,000 people around the world, has taken on the characteristics of a typical seasonal flu.
“All in all, people feel that the overall picture looks like we are ready to declare post-pandemic globally very soon,” Dr. Chan said.
Every pandemic eventually becomes a seasonal flu strain. This fall, when flu season arrives again, H1N1 will still be one of the major variants floating around, but the population has shown sufficient resistance to it that there have been very few new deaths or flu activity in Canada since February, according to Dr. Perry Kendall, British Columbia’s provincial health officer.
“We were planning with [avian flu] and 1918 in mind, and that meant you had to develop a vaccine as quickly as possible. The lesson learned from this is that unless we get some radical new technologies we’re not going to get an influenza vaccine within the first six months. That means for the first wave of the virus, there’s going to be no vaccine to protect people.” [Kendall]
The pandemic’s end will be declared as it takes its second tour of winter in the Southern Hemisphere. So far there has been evidence the intensity of outbreaks has been reduced and the virus is no longer as dominant as it once was.
Best takeaway? ... "The lesson learned from this is that unless we get some radical new technologies we’re not going to get an influenza vaccine within the first six months" ... make sure to get you flu shots early, and often, and stock up on the breathing masks now before people start dropping.
Image Credit: US Army, Ft. Bliss
Any combination of these symptoms should be enough of a concern to seek medical advice. Fever above 100.5 F - Cough - Sore Throat - Headache - Nausea - Vomiting.
Recommended actions to prevent spread of H1N1 infection:
-Hand washing with soap and warm water. Cold water is not as effective for killing germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
-Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, or cough or sneeze into your elbow/sleeve rather than your hand.
-Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
-Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
-Those with flu-like symptoms should stay home from work, school and social gatherings.