The real issue with swine flu/H1N1 flu/whatever’s PC now

The main reason health officials are worried about H1N1 is not because it is somehow deadlier than other flus. The flu is pretty deadly. It kills around the same number of Americans each year as car accidents. That’s why we have flu vaccines; we try to predict which flu strain will be the most common and then prepare ourselves for it.

The issue with swine flu is that we don’t yet have a vaccine. We had no idea it was coming, so we were unprepared. As with any other flu, people who are very old, very young, and who have health conditions are the most at risk of actually dying, but anyone is in danger if they don’t take care of themselves.

Because we weren’t prepared for this, there’s more of a chance that it will affect more people. And the more people who end up sick, the harder it is for the nation to go about its business. If no one at a certain factory is able to work, for example, that’s a huge hit to that company and to all the other companies that depend on it. If police, firemen, doctors, and/or nurses get sick, that’s a safety issue. We need to have enough healthy, well people in our society to function.

So you can stop worrying about dying from swine flu. Instead, worry about staying healthy. Wash your hands and encourage others to. Eat right, get enough rest. And don’t let fear of the flu cripple your life.

Stay away from the farm: Swine flu

If you’ve been sick recently, doubtless someone has joked, “Maybe it’s swine flu!” The name may be funny, but the issue is serious. The virus is spreading and has already killed.

While it probably started in pigs, it’s obviously moving human to human now. So while avoiding pigs and birds is a no-brainer, there are other things you’ll want to do as well. Wash your hands, take your vitamins, try not to touch your mouth or nose, and stay away from sick people if you can. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating healthily, and exercising. If you do get sick, don’t go to school or work. There is no vaccine, so be careful!

Here’s some general information about the outbreak.

Here’s some general information about swine flu from the CDC.

Here’s more specific information about the current outbreak from the CDC.

Here’s the CDC’s main page about swine flu, with links to more resources.

Here’s an interactive map of locations where swine flu has been reported and confirmed.

And here’s a dose of reality. Do some research before you freak out! Remember, you can’t get swine flu from eating pork–it’s a flu virus. Just do what you would normally do to avoid getting sick, and pay attention to whether or not swine flu has been reported in your area.