I'm way too excited about the swine flu, guys. It is highly relevant to my interests. So let's talk about it! The information here is largely copied from my blog Bird Flu Will Kill You (Maybe)
which draws primarily from the CDC. All information is as accurate as I can get it.About the spread of swine flu:
1. The handful of people in the US with lab-confirmed cases haven't died. The only guy that needed hospitalization was immune-compromised, and he got better. Yes, ladies and gents, the USA death rate for this monster swine flu is a staggering 0%!
2. The cases trickling in are cases that happened a 2-4 weeks ago, and we're just now getting genetic results back on the specific strains of flu they had. Basically: swine flu already happened, and we're just figuring it out. It's probably over. EVERYBODY PANIC
3. There are going to be more cases of this. The reason cases will start trickling in is because we're now actively looking for them. It's just that simple.
4. No there won't be a pandemic. You have to die a lot to have a pandemic. Even in Mexico, the death rate for flu-like illnesses that might be swine flu is a staggering .07%. My god, we're doomed!About swine flu itself:
1. Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, sore throat, fever, headache, body aches, vomiting, and diarrhea. It's a flu! Surprise!
2. It does seem to transmit from human to human rather than pig to human. That means it spreads fast. In fact, it already happened. Did you miss it? It was that fast.
3. Genetically, this thing is awesome. Four different strains of swine, human, and avian influenza! It's called genetic shift and it's something flus do naturally. Because they're whores.
4. It may have some characteristics that are a little like the killer 1918 flu except for the whole part where it's not really killing people, and also those characteristics might be a fluke of Mexico's flu surveillance. They do more containment/treatment than genetic testing of flu-like illnesses, so it's hard to say.What to do about swine flu:
1. Wash your hands.
2. Cover your face when you sneeze/cough.
3. If you're sick, consider doing to a doctor.
4. Does this list look familiar? Like maybe it's exactly what you do for every other minor illness that's ever happened? Yeah. There's a reason for that.What to do if you're paranoid:
1. Get a respirator rated N-95 to filter out virus bits.
2. Stock up on water and non-perishable foods.
3. Make signs reading "THE END IS NEAR" and a nice hat out of foil.
4. Repeat steps 1-3.
If you have any lingering concerns or questions, please do ask. I like being useful. Right now I'm laughing at my family, cackling madly: "SEE?! MY OBSESSION WITH THE BIRD FLU IS
USEFUL! I KNEW IT WOULD HAPPEN ONE DAY!" If you want to wade through a lot of technical and political jabber, check out the CDC
P.S. No pig has ever had this strain of swine flu. Pork is safe. Go eat your bacon.