A few weeks ago I did a lot of research on the Swine Flu for the article in The St. Pete Times.
Since that article was published, things are still changing with this bizarre disease, and I’m still learning more about it as we go. In our own school, many more cases were diagnosed and confirmed, but luckily, none were severe and as far as I know, all of those students have returned to school.
But that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to join a Walgreen’s teleconference with Dr. Gwenn O’Keefe of Pediatricsnow.com and Dr.Gwennisin.com, and I learned a little bit more about the H1N1 and why we need to be aware of it.
~First off, it’s seems to target our kids most of all. For some still unknown reason, this flu hits ages 0-24 the hardest, leaving the 65+ group almost untouched. Pregnant women are given the top priority on the vaccine list.
~90% of the flu circulating in the U.S. right now is H1N1. So chances are, if you feel like you have the flu, it’s probably H1N1.
~This strain isn’t peaking like the seasonal flu does every year. Instead of ebbing and falling like typical flu seasons, this one shows no sign of slowing down. Dr. Gwenn says we really need to pay attention to the statistics to realize how differently this strain behaves.
~She recommends both the regular flu shot as well as the H1N1 when it becomes available in your area. To the critics that say the vaccine for the Swine Flu isn’t “tested,” she says that it is the exact same science and testing as the seasonal flu shot that has been in existence for over 60 years with a rather impressive track record.
We also spoke extensively about the need to be prepared in case you get sick--stocking up on items and food well before you actually need them.
But a couple of things remained constant--wash your hands frequently and make sure your kids are as well. This is still our number one preventive measure.
And definitely don’t waste your money--and false confidence--on the facemasks.