Saturday, June 20, 2009
Chicken Little Flu
H1N1 is everywhere. About 50% of what I am currently seeing in clinic is most likely swine flu. It amazes me how freaked out people are about this pandemic. I've started calling it the chicken little flu because evidently the sky is falling. Most people are no more sick than from the normal flu. It's just at an odd time of year. H1N1 is so prevalent now that we no longer test for it. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck or is it a pig in this case? The best way to prevent flu is lots of good hand washing and basically not letting people cough or sneeze on you. If you are sick you don't necessarily need to go to the doctor unless you are getting worse or not improving. Secondary infections from the flu are not unusual following flu the most common being ear infections and pneumonia. Every year people die from flu. This is really not any different. Most otherwise healthy people are not at risk from dying from H1N1. Tamiflu, which is an antiviral, mostly helps you not be contagious to other people. Mostly we are using it in high risk groups or hospitalized patients. Try not to freak out about swine flu, just wash your hands and stay away from sick people, I personally have a hard time with that last one.