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Lookers - Who Else?

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACHOOOO! HAK HAK HAK! OINK!
(Cyprus and the swine flu blues.)

Take THAT Porky!

All over the free world people are all wishing those pigs had kept their pesky germs to themselves and frying sausages extra-well in revenge. But for Joe Punter planning a holiday – what should he be doing?
Did we really ought to be laughing about this?

Officially Speaking
Since I am not Dr Bob, I rely on the World Health Organisation’s website as the final word. The WHO is a fine bunch of lads with their finger well on the pulse of the situation, and their website for the topic is to be found here - http://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/en/ .
They update daily when they collect all the local reports and mix them into a single chart. This means that they are a day or so out of date compared with local information but they are nonetheless the final word on all things re the pandemic.
All other figures quoted here are from searching on Google – confirm or deny them at your leisure.
Based on their report for 6 July 2009 09:00 GMT, of the million or so of us in Cyprus (as of 2006), some 109 people are officially infected and no one has got around to dying yet.
Looking worldwide – less than five hundred unfortunate souls of the 94,512 infected have lost the battle.

Normal non-swine human flu kills some 36,000 in the US every single year – every year – so forgive me if I do not run to the hills screaming just yet since swine flu - statistically - just isn't that deadly after all.
So – should we really care about the whole thing? Actually – yes we should.

Why I do Care
Lets say I am pushing fifty and in good health. Flu? HA! Say I. But let’s assume that I am living with my 90 year old mother who has chest problems and a heart condition.
I get to sneeze and cough for a week and no big deal, but she is in real trouble from any kind of flu at all and I would hate to think that my gung-ho attitude to public safety would infect her and then the worst might actually happen. Possibly if it was not the flu, it might be something else tomorrow. Life is like that.
But I do not want to live with the idea that it was my negligence or indifference that actually, finally pushed the button.

Medicine.net (http://www.medicinenet.com ) says the risk factors are:

  1. Children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday (but the younger the child the higher the risk)
  2. Pregnant women
  3. People 50 years of age and older
  4. People of any age with certain medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease (asthma, COPD, emphysema), diabetes or those with weakened immune systems.
I have to admit that I never met a nineteen year old child but in the USA I suppose anything is possible.

So Now What?
How do I protect myself and so protect those who are vulnerable.

Don’t laugh – I exercise good manners. Honest!

Again from the WHO – this time here
http://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/frequently_asked_questions/what/en/index.html - Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze, wash your hands and practice good health habits. (Eat properly, sleep with a window open and the like.) Avoid irresponsible plonkers who are not doing any of these things and steer clear of the places that they go.

Open air is what we want here – like at the beach.

Should you have flu symptoms such as fever, cough, headache, body aches, sore throat and runny nose, drop by or call the hospital (+357-23200000) and ask for advice.

In (Un)Conclusion

Aaaaw….you wanted a conclusion and I’m not going to give you one!

You know your situation and now you either have the facts or else you have access to them - so you decide what comes next and how you should handle things in your own space. Draw your own conclusions!
If you want my personal thoughts on the issue I say stay cool, have fun but use your brain. Mind you, I was saying that before the flu as well. Something else I said before and still say – be safe, have a blast, hurry back! :-)
Webz/ECy
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