Saturday, November 7, 2009

Scared sleeveless - H1N1

Yes, kids are afraid. "No, your friend, home sick from school, is NOT going to die, honey."
Schools are teaching kids about good hygiene, as they have always done. But fearmongering has them scared. You ask, and they now know the rules: sneeze into a sleeve, wash your hands, use tissues.

We have always taught these measures, but the fear is hitting home. Kids share spoons, snacks, eat off of their desks over which others have sneezed.

One clever civilian commenter said,
Nov 7 - My research - check for yourself - no warranty :) :

H1N1 Deaths - 115 (Public Health Agency of Canada)
Murders per year - 594 (2007 -Statscan)
Car Accident Deaths - 2900 (Transportation Safety Board)
Seasonal Flu Deaths - Around 5,000 (Globe and Mail -depends on year)
Cancer Deaths - 37,000 (Canadian Cancer Society)
Heart and related deaths - 71,000 (Heart and Stroke Foundation)

To delay dying our best strategy is to as much as possible:

-quit smoking,
-lose 10 lbs,
-monitor and control your cholesterol and blood pressure,
-get some exercise,
-eat green leafy vegetables,
-drink in moderation,
-never drink and drive,
-slow down while driving,
-refrain from criminal activity and avoid choosing violent spouses
-wash your hands,
-get the vaccine when you are eligible
-learn to relax and have fun.

Statistically speaking, the Media has caught this one and like the touchdown dance, hold up the ball - if it bleeds it leads. We told you so, they dance and prance.

 CTV news reported in April: According to a recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's weekly report, more than 13,000 Americans have died from seasonal flu in 2009 alone.

The worldwide total for seasonal flu related deaths is generally between 250,000 and 500,000 a year. We are at about 5,000 at this point. 

Swine flu death rate similar to seasonal flu-expert

 It has a 
death rate of less than 0.1 percent. I have been teaching in a middle school during flu season, and have notice 100 kids absent in a school of 600 one year. This is fairly normal, but goes unreported, except in local papers.

Numbers for H1N1 are totally inaccurate because so many cases go undiagnosed, and it is the deaths of young people that capture the headlines. It is impossible to test every patient and because people with mild cases may never be diagnosed.

Media outlets are jumping on the bandwagon: Yet the Globe reports, for example:

Tips for Parents

How to spot swine flu in kids, when to treat it at home and when to call your doctor.

Call 911 right away if your child:
  • has severe trouble breathing and it is not caused by a stuffy nose
  • has blue lips or hands, suddenly becomes pale, or has cold legs up to their knees
  • is so sleepy that he doesn't respond when you try to get him up, or isn't able to move
  • seems confused
  • has a seizure

This is a normal flu in most cases, but if you have medical conditions:

  • lung or heart disease
  • any chronic health problem that requires regular medical attention, including obesity
  • an illness that might affect their immune systems, such as diabetes, cancer, or HIV/AIDS
  • is pregnant

and you develop flu symptoms then call your doctor. Pneumonia is the killer in this disease.
The key is to keep fluids in, ensuring that you are getting better, but watch for flu symptoms improving, then suddenly worsening. Do not stay alone.

CTV News | Seasonal flu killing more people than 'swine flu'

29 Apr 2009 ... Canada AM: Dr. Neil Rau, infections disease expert ...

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