Is the H1N1 Threat Over?
There are a lot of conflicting information about H1N1, aka the Swine Flu. Doubts about the validity of it as a true worldwide threat, what the vaccine “really is,” and whether or not the media overreacted abound. Now, added to this is the question about whether or not it is still a problem.
H1N1 was and may still be a global threat, but not for the same reason as other diseases. Problems with it includes when it emerged, what comprised the elements of origin and how fast it circled the planet. An even bigger problem was the threat that it would mutate into something far more dangerous.
H1N1 killed a lot of people. Most influenza viruses do so, but they usually only kill the very young, very old and those with weakened immune system. The Swine Flu killed healthy young people in far larger numbers, especially pregnant women and their unborn children. This is very unusual.
The rumors that the vaccine was an experiment or other asinine claims are untrue. It would be nearly impossible to perpetrate a hoax of that magnitude, and we would be seeing a reaction by now, as not everyone was immunized.
As for the media, they were doing what the CDC and the government wanted; getting word out so that we would take the necessary precautions. That it didn’t become a nightmare may be credited to them, or perhaps not, we may never know.
As for the threat the disease posed, no it is not over. It’s not as bad now that flu season is over, but people are still catching it. When flu season starts again, it will probably rear its ugly head once again. With luck, it won’t mutate to the point that current vaccines and immunity developed don’t provide any protection.
There are things you can do, both to protect yourself and to help stop it from recurring. All those steps mentioned during the flu season still apply. Wash your hands frequently, wipe down surfaces with antibacterial wipes on a regular basis and use the wipes on your shopping carts.
If you do become ill, stay home unless you need to visit the doctor. If that is the case, be sure to let them know that you may have the flu so they can protect themselves and the other patients. You may be given a mask to wear, as the flu can be spread via droplets that are expelled by coughing or sneezing.
We should also be aware that H1N1 is not the only virus likely to appear and become global. By keeping abreast of health news, we can protect ourselves and our family. By being vigilant, the next threat may be mitigated.