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Wash Hands Everybody!

Rightyho then.

I am now officially worried about the swine flu thing.

Could everyone please spend the next little while washing their hands regularly, not touching hands to face, coughing into the elbow (rather than your hands or the air), throwing out their own snotty tissues and then washing their hands again?

(In fact if you are needing to cough and are producing snot, best to stay home for a while, okay?)

If we all do this, things will probably go relatively okay. Probably.

Now if you'll all excuse me, I'm off to wash my hands...


At the hospital I'm going to they have antiseptic rinse in pump packs everywhere. They ask (but do not require) that you use it on entry and exit and now and again when you've got a moment. I think I may actually do so tomorrow.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 27th, 2009 08:04 pm (UTC)
I always carry some of that alcohol based waterless hand sanitizer with me. I'm obsessive about hand washing which is never a bad idea with or without piggie flu.
Apr. 27th, 2009 10:35 pm (UTC)
Apr. 28th, 2009 01:11 am (UTC)
Right now there is actually nothing to worry about, you need three things for a Pandemic.

1. Incubation: You need a long incubation period, I need to confirm this but it would seem that in this strain of flu the symptoms come on quite quickly, one of the reasons that smallpox was so feared was that it could incubate in a human host for up to two weeks, which meant that it had time to infect lots of people before the first case was reported. And it was impossible to detect at airports unless people were past the first stage. This doesn't seem to be the case with piggy flu.

2. Virulence: Whilst this does seem to be a particular virulent strain of Swine Flue it's virulence is no more than a normal flu bug so normal anti-flu precautions will be sufficient.

3. Mortality Rate: Now this is the important one in Mexico the mortality rate is currently around 13%, now that's not good but it's hardly terrifying especially when you take into account that the mortality rate in the USA is currently sitting at 0%, now I know there are quite a few less reported cases in the US but I would say that access to drugs such as Tami-flu and general better conditions and medical standards would be the reason for this. You would expect the poorer nations to do worse out of this and considering that the regular flu has a mortality rate of 18% of hospitalizations each year in the U.S. (around 36,000 people) then this swine flu has a long way to go.

As for hand sanitizers. You can come into contact with any viruses by two routes, by breathing them in through your nose or mouth or by touching the virus and then your nose or mouth with your hands. As you might expect, hand sanitizers work best against viruses that are transferred by your hands rather than through the air. As the Swine Flu is an airborne agent washing hands will have less of an impact than just keeping away from people (although studies in workplaces have shown that they can reduce the instances of flu and colds but up to 15%)
Unless one of these factors changes dramatically in the next few days I can't see this as much more than a media beat up.
Apr. 28th, 2009 05:04 am (UTC)
I'm vacillating between mild panic and feeling somewhat complacent because I live in one of the most isolated cities in the world. (And I'm making sure to wash my hands a lot).
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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