Friday, May 01, 2009

The Swine Flu

I'm not panicking.

Maybe there's something wrong with me?
The schools have repeatedly reassured me that there's no reason to panic. My Mother in law sent an email to my husband letting him know it was nothing to be too concerned about yet.

And all I can think is...well, obviously.

So far, the biggest concern is that the CDC doesn't "know" everything they want to know about the "new flu". It's breaking out in May, which is new as far as I can remember (Spring and summer are the end of the illness routine. Everyone tells me that when the kids invariably come down with something this time of year.) The vast majority of people who are sick have recovered without the use of antiviral drugs.

As far as I can see, it's just the flu; taking a different path than the one predicted by scientists.

Now, I don't mean to be callous. I hate being sick as much as the next guy. I'll whine, maybe not quite as loudly as my husband, but I'll certainly commiserate. But the recommendations are...wash hands frequently. Don't come to work or school when you're running a fever. And cough into your sleeve.

Isn't that normal? Its always been my pet peeve that people drag themselves to work or school with fevers and sit there hacking up a lung. It's rude, and dangerous to those with compromised immune systems. And it doesn't matter if we know what the virus (or bacteria) is or not, if the wrong person contracts it, that illness can be fatal.

I'm much more concerned about food allergies. Which are rising steadily, or were at the last time they were studied, at a rate of about 20% a year. And food allergy mortality is unknown because the CDC does not consider it a reportable event. The figure appears to fall between 1 and 200 confirmed deaths a year (with a suspected 50% of cases being misdiagnosed)

If your throat swells shut because you swallow some soy lecithin, the CDC could care less. (Especially since doctors repeatedly tell us that lecithin has NO protein left and therefore will not cause anaphylaxis despite occasional evidence to the contrary. Note that I'm carefully avoiding the subject of corn.) But, report some body aches with a fever over 100* caused by an unusual strain of influenza (which seems to pass quickly albeit uncomfortably) and they will call a national emergency.

Wonder how many petrochemicals are in the recommended treatment? Rehydration therapies are generally loaded with colorful ingredients and flavorings; at least the pediatric versions. And from the rainbow of meds I've seen on store shelves while seeking safe pain killers, I'd bet any drugs they offer are just as colorful.

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