Monday, October 02, 2006

Pandemic Flu Awareness week -- Oct. 9-15

Next week has been designated as a time for bloggers to focus attention on Bird Flu. Just because the threat remains only that, a threat instead of reality, the uncomfortable fact remains that a deadly viral mutation can occur at any time which would be the spark that would ignite a world-wide epidemic.

I was reading last week about the deadly flu pandemic of 1918 which hit healthy young people with swift and terrible results. Wikipedia has this description.

People without symptoms could be struck suddenly and within hours be too feeble to walk; many died the next day. Symptoms included a blue tint to the face and coughing up blood caused by severe obstruction of the lungs. In later stages, the virus caused an uncontrollable hemorrhaging that filled the lungs, and patients drowned in their body fluids.

In fast-progressing cases, mortality was primarily from pneumonia, by virus-induced consolidation. Slower-progressing cases featured secondary bacterial pneumonias, and there may have been neural involvement that led to psychiatric disorders in a minority of cases. Some deaths resulted from malnourishment and even animal attacks in overwhelmed communities.

I may not post something every day next week about flu but I wanted to get this published to spread the word to any who may not be aware. I am probably the only blogger alive who does not follow Kos or Instapundit, but there may be someone besides me. My heads-up comes via H5N1.

Most people have no understanding how viral infections are spread. You don't have to be standing in someone's sneeze and cough field to catch even the common cold. Check this out.
When sick hotel guests leave their rooms, they frequently leave something important behind: the virus that gave them their colds.

During an overnight hotel stay, people with colds left viruses on telephones, light switches, and television remotes, researchers said yesterday at an infectious disease conference in San Francisco.

Infectious disease specialists caution people to wash their hands and avoid touching their noses and faces to avoid catching colds that infect about 60 million people in the United States annually. The study, sponsored by Reckitt Benckiser PLC, maker of the Lysol cleaner, suggests that infectious cold germs may survive longer in the environment than has been thought.

"When you touch surfaces a day later, the virus may still be there," said Owen Hendley, a pediatrician at University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville who led the research.Hendley and his team had 15 patients infected with rhinoviruses, a common cold germ, spend the night in a hotel. Each volunteer spent at least five hours awake in the room before sleeping, and then another two hours awake before leaving the following morning. The Virginia researchers then swabbed objects and surfaces that had been touched during the stay. About 35 percent of those objects and surfaces had cold viruses.

Some of the patients appeared to be more efficient spreaders of the virus, Hendley said, contaminating as many as eight of 10 surfaces they touched.

H/T H5N1, also linking to the latest CDC report.


Rockhead said...

Hi Hoots,

Google "House of Plenty". Read the excerpt, or better yet buy the book, I have the strangest feeling that this book could portray either company up to a certain point. Rock on Luby's


Gayatri said...

Want to know how to protect yourself from pandemic flu?????

The following link is a great website to educate yourself on staying healthy this flu season. I found this website to be a great tool.