Sunday, April 26, 2009

Updates on Mexican Flu

The potential for a pandemic continues, though governments have finally taken action. In Mexico, the government has taken positive steps to halt the spread of the disease, though actions come after the disease has been found in several other countries, particularly the United States.

Over 100 people are now dead in Mexico, the apparent epicenter of the flu. No one has reportedly died in the United States, and many of the victims appear to be in their teenage years. The disease has been characterized as 'mild' in the US, with all victims apparently on the mend, or at least not getting seriously ill. Whether that continues remains to be seen. It is possible that the Mexican flu has gotten a foothold in that country, and authorities have been slow to respond, while in the US with its superb medical system, doctors have been treating appropriately, and early. The general better health of Americans may also play a part, in my opinion. The disease has seemingly been appearing (so far) only in people who have recently returned from Mexico. These people are wealthy enough to travel, and probably in good health, since sick people generally don't wish to travel.

Chronically ill people in the United States need to be hypervigilant. This means avoiding crowds, staying away from coughing and/or sneezing people, and washing their hands frequently. I personally would suggest considering not going to work tomorrow and in the next few days or weeks, especially if the Mexican flu has been detected in your city. I also suggest avoiding or limiting contact with children or teenagers in school, since that is a perfect environment in which to foster the spread of this serious disease.

I still work, and live in Sacramento California where a possible case was just discovered in a student who recently came back from a trip to Mexico. His school has been closed as a precaution. I may still go into work, since I have an office with a door that can close. I purchased a wall-mounted germ sterilizer, which I hope will help kill any viruses that sneak in under the door. If the flu seems to be spreading in Sacramento, then I will stay home. I also will discuss with my supervisor my need for precaution, and explore the possibility of working from home, something my employer has refused vehemently to date. I do have plenty of sick leave and vacation, which I will not hesitate to use.

As the old television program advised, "People, let's be safe out there".

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