Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Asian Girl would like to take a moment...

to take a break from nail polish and talk about something serious:

"Swine" flu.

I know the press is inundated with doom and gloom about H1N1 swine influenza. Some people debate that it's overhyped, but I, however, am genuinely concerned about this outbreak. For those of you new to this blog, my degree was in community health education and thought about continuing my masters' in epidemiology. There's always been some "new" disease in the press, be it bird flu, Ebola, West Nile, mad cow, etc. However, I don't think we've seen the likes of swine flu in years (with the exception of HIV/AIDS, the hidden pandemic). The scary part to me is the human-to-human transmission which leads to community-wide outbreaks.

What can you do, as Jane or John Doe?

- While interning, I taught handwashing classes for local kindergarten classes. The same rules apply: wash your hands with soap frequently, especially after sneezing, coughing, working or playing outdoors, before and after eating and preparing food, after using the bathroom, touching public surfaces, and touching animals. Using soap is much more effective than washing with plain water since it prolongs the time taken to wash your hands, which promotes friction that helps alleviate germs.

- Avoid touching your face, eyes and nose. This is a frequent entry for infection.

- When coughing or sneezing, use a tissue and wash your hands afterwards. If a tissue isn't available, don't use your hands but use the crook of your elbow, which reduces your chances of transmitting germs to others.

- Pork is safe to eat, so dig into that pork chop.

I'm holding out hope that this will pass through soon and smoothly. I'm hoping our advanced technology and years of research will help out in these tough times.

Wish you all the best!

The Asian Girl


Lucy said...

Thanks for the advice. I know I'm careful about washing my hands and sneezing. It's the other people that I don't know. Very scary to think about. I have a doctor's appointment on Monday, just a checkup. I was thinking about the people in the office coughing and sneezing.

Helen said...

Thankyou for that - it is best to be careful.

I don't know to what extend the news feeds around the world are talking about this, but something deep down in my cynical soul is making me wonder whether the government here in the UK is making a huge deal out of it to alleviate from banging on about the most recent budget (which was not well received).

Having said that, one of my colleagues is in Cancun at the moment and this is making everyone in the office somewhat nervous. So your advice could not be better timed, thankyou.

Brooke said...

Thanks for the info!

Velvet said...

Completely agree! Thanks for the info and reminding us to be careful to be "clean"!

The Glitterati said...

Thanks for the good-health reminders. Swine Flu or not, I think most of us (myself included) forget to wash our hands enough.

Thank goodness Swine Flu (so far) doesn't look to have nearly as high a kill-rate as Avian Flu or HIV. More like SARS, perhaps, but hopefully it will be over faster than SARS was.

I know I'll be stocking up on tissues and hand sanitizer, just in case. :)

The Asian Girl said...

Lucy--It's usually others we have to worry about. Hope your appointment goes well!

Helen--A lot of people are a bit skeptical about the timing; I think that goes for the US government as well. I hope your colleague will be fine; it seems to be centered in Mexico City.

Brooke--You're welcome :)

Velvet--If anything, at least we'll have less common colds!

The Glitterati--I'm really hoping it doesn't have such a high mortality rate. A friend of mine picked me up a pack of travel tissues; it came in handy in a port-a-potty that lacked toilet paper!

Chick Vision said...

I'm hoping this whole swine flu thing will pass soon, too! There shutting some many school districts down here. :(

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