Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Swine Flu Revisited

Swine Flu, or H1N1, as we are carefully calling it these days, hasn't disappeared or gone underground. It is still with us. According to newly released figures from WHO. there are now 10,243 confirmed cases worldwide in 35 countries and there have been 80 deaths so far.

Though it is clear that this new flu is spreading around the world like wildfire, it is also clear that it is not the deadly plague it was once feared to be. It doesn't really seem to be much of a killer.

Symptoms are like those of regular flu--fever, nausea, fatigue muscle aches. Most who become infected do not require hospitalization. A few days in bed and they are fine. The few who have died from H1N1 so far, seem to be people with underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease, diabetes, or compromised immune function from organ transplants or HIV.

I'm thinking that the reason it is spreading so fast is that none of us has any immunity to this thing and if that's the case, why don't those of us who are adults in reasonably good health just get it, get over it, and get on with things.

When I was a kid, there were no vaccines for measles, mumps, chickenpox etc. Getting these diseases was one of the passages of childhood. Mothers knew that it was preferable to get these things while you were young but not too young, and that once you had had them, you were immune. So, back in the day, when the kid down the street got chickenpox or mumps, your mother often took you down to see him so that you would get it too and get over it. It was kind of do-it-yourself vaccination.

Swine Flu Parties

Maybe we should do that with Swine Flu. Maybe we should all have Swine Flu parties and just get it and get over it. Then next year, when it comes around again in full force there will be a core of people with immunity and even if the virus mutates into something stronger( as some fear it might) having immunity to the original virus would be of some help.

It makes sense to me, and beats worrying and wondering about vaccines and things, but then I probably just like any excuse for a party and I'm tired of worrying about the Swine Flu.


Lisa said...

When I had the chicken pox my mom had my sister be exposed to me so that she would get it too, and so we had it together, itching like crazy and got over it. So, you may have something there... is there wine involved in these parties??

Shirley Anderson said...

My mom used to do the same type of thing, making sure that my sister and I were exposed to each other's childhood disease. That's how we found out that I'm a measles carrier.

If there is wine involved, count me in!

pinkpackrat said...

Ok Lisa and Shirley, I think wine is the heart and soul of any swineflu party don't you? I think we may have the beginnings of a global movement here:-) Thanks for your comments.

Susan said...

I spoke to the WHO this week - it is, apparently, meeting all the criteria for a pandemic, but several countries have asked the WHO to keep it at a stage five alert - stage six would just be too scary.

NYC is, I am told by a contact there, getting a bit panicky. And there is also word that those born before 1957 have some level of immunity.

The good news is this is just not nearly as deadly as avian flu. The worry, apparently, is that it could morph into something truly frightening by the real flu season.

So let's party like it's 2009...or maybe 2012.

pinkpackrat said...

Thanks for the heads up Susan-- very interesting. Wonder if this is related to the swine flu of the 1970's and that is why people born before 1957( hey, that's meeeeee!) have some immunity.

I'm hoping that it doesn't morph into something more deadly next year too but in the meantime, eat drink and be merry, for you know what happens tomorrow:-)