Panicking does not cure swine flu

Published 5:52 pm Friday, May 1, 2009

A good deal of the time, the national media overstate some issues. The recent 24-hour television coverage of the so-called “swine flu” is a good example of how hype gets out of hand.

First of all, as of noon Friday, only 141 cases of H1N1 Flu nationwide had been confirmed by laboratory tests and one death confirmed in Texas, according to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. None of the confirmed cases were from Alabama.

The CDC also states that every year in the United States, on average 5 percent to 20 percent of the population gets the garden variety influenza; more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications and about 36,000 people die from flu-related causes. But we don’t harp on these numbers.

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Understandably we become frightened of something about which we know little. That kind of fear is just human nature.

The key to dealing with H1N1 Flue is to take the same precautions you would in January during our typical flu season: wash your hands; try to stay in good general health; get plenty of sleep; be physically active; manage your stress; drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious foods. Try not to touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

And if you get sick, please stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Wash your hands often with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Above all, remain calm. This is another virus that’s spread by coughing and sneezing of those who have it.