Monday, April 27, 2009

caregiving: swine flu - when pigs fly

When it comes to all things swine perhaps the best advice is from one wise spider to one ‘terrific’ pig:

Charlotte: “Trust me, Wilbur. People are very gullible. They'll believe anything they see in print.”

U.S. Homeland Security issues a public health emergency order regarding swine flu outbreak.

Today the European Union is warning Europeans to avoid traveling to the United States or Mexico.

World stock markets are freaking out, even as investors are gobbling up shares of flu drug makers. “Follow the money!”

What is going on? … When did Homeland Security get into public health? Buy your duct tape now!

Anyone remember 1976, when the CDC called on President Ford and Congress to begin mass inoculations for swine flu?

Swine flu ‘panic’ has been more dangerous than swine flu in the United States.

40 million Americans received the swine flu vaccine before the program was halted after only 10 weeks. 25 people died after receiving the vaccine and more than 500 people developed Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Ultimately only 200 cases of swine flu were ever reported with one fatality in the US.

Today in this over communication age panic can get disturbing with self help guides for “Preparing for Pandemic Flu”, with such helpful hints as home safety kits including “deterrents (mace, pepper spray, etc.)”, and for your car - an air horn and a Taser.

Madness, absolute madness!

As a Multiple Sclerosis spouse caregiver I am in no way making light of any health risk, but there is an ocean of difference between vigilance and media frenzy. Dealing day in and day out with an out of whack immune system from MS, vigilance and common sense is ALWAYS required.

If you have symptoms of flu, talk to your health care provider right away. Swine flu can be treated with antiviral medications, but treatment must be started within the first 48 hours after symptoms appear.

Even better step up the common sense tips to stay healthy and avoid the rush to panic.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer


  1. Oh man I remember those shots also, I got so sick and I can't talk my husband into a flu shot since. The media does love a good crisis.

  2. I remember my mom/sister getting the shots for the swine flu in the 1970s; I remember all the buzz in the media then too.

    seems to be this is a good story to take people's minds off the economy for a bit.....

    I'm with you; do the necessary things to stay healthy and just go on living

    enjoy your Wednesday :)



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