In the (seemingly) secluded part of the world which is (seemingly) affected by nothing much, the swine flu outbreak has hit the headlines (especially after 4 H1N1 related deaths have been confirmed in New Zealand), so I decided to put up a post. We have posts on Michael Jackson, Disney, JoBros and even Hannah Montanna (who is a kind of epidemic herself) so why not swine flu?
Swine flu-what is it?
Basically, it’s a new influenza virus also referred to as H1N1. The virus was first detected in April, 2009 in the US and on June 11, 2009 a worldwide pandemic alert was raised to phase 6 (which indicates that a global pandemic is underway) by the World Health Organization (WHO). The virus spreads from person-to-person, in the supposedly same way that regular seasonal flu does. It was originally (and still is-the name’s stuck) referred to as ‘swine flue’ due to lab tests that showed many genes in the new virus were similar to the flu viruses that usually occur in pigs in North America. Further analysis revealed that the virus is actually very different from that of the pigs.
PANDEMIC PARANOIA ON THE LOSE!
Just the other day I watched someone on the news, who had been asked to leave (quite rudely in my opinion) a pet shop in Christchurch because her three-year-old sneezed. “All I said was, ‘She has a cold,’ and [the store person] rolled her eyes and waved her hands and her head, and said, ‘Well people like you come in here and spread the germs, and we have to shut and make ourselves at-risk,’” says Ms Elwood. Fine, so you’re a bit paranoid but there’s no need to be so repulsive about it. I agree that it’s this big thing in like, Australia and the US and stuff but here…flu masks are not necessary. In fact I think that’s being a bit over cautious…But if you are getting totally worked up about this, my (probably not so useful) advice is to take precautions (wash your hands da dee da dee dah…) and avoid the swine flu news, the articles and rumours- seriously worrying yourself sick-literally-isn’t about to do you or anyone else for that matter any good.
If you are the paranoid type, this questionnaire might be for you.