With the media reporting on the World Health Organization’s classifying the H1N1 virus, also commonly called the swine flu, as a pandemic, many of us are wondering how it affects us. To stay safe, it is probably a good idea to go to the best sites for clear information and advice and do a little reading. By all means, avoid listening to what you hear on the street and from the media. Too much of the information being traded is hype.
And, to reply to the question about whether eating pork can give you swine flu, the first answer is no and the second answer is keep reading.
What’s most important for anyone with an impaired immune system is that we are prepared to guard against exposure to common maladies. Remember that when your white blood cell counts are low (check with your doctor about your own labs if you’re not sure), a simple cold can turn into pneumonia and become lethal. Here are a few tips to help you avoid catching germs:
- avoid exposure to anyone with a cold or any flu–no kissing, hugging, touching with anyone who is sneezing or coughing
- wash your hands frequently
- carry a bottle of hand sanitizing lotion with you at all times and use it every time you touch anything touched by others
- if you have to attend an event or travel and thus will be exposed to a setting that is enclosed and crowded, consider wearing a mask; it’s both a prophylaxis and a signal to others that you are avoiding breathing contaminants, and often people will keep a distance when they notice the mask
Finally, arm yourself with facts, not hearsay.
Go to the Web page for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and read more about the Novel H1N1 virus, commonly called the swine flu. You can subscribe to their updates so you can receive an e-mail from them and stay abreast of the real story instead of listening to the hype. If you want to read more about how the H1N1 virus is affecting populations around the world, go to the Web site for the World Health Organization (WHO).
Now, enjoy your state of enlightenment and be confident that you know how to stay safe and healthy.
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