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25 August 2009

Swine Flu Part I

A recent Presidential Advisory Report states that as many as half the US population could be infected with H1N1 this fall and winter. The report states that up 120 million may come down with the illness while another 30 million may carry it without symptoms. 1.8 million may be hospitalized while 90,000 could die, which is far more than a typical flu season. Most affected appear to be young adults, and the virus is spread by close contact, not necessarily airborne like in most flu seasons. Supposedly a vaccine will be ready soon, but I have my doubts as to how effective that may actually turn out to be. From what I know about flu vaccines, I would never get one. So then what would be an herbal approach? First, let's talk prevention and later what to do if you get sick.

Apparently, this virus is a mix of human, procine, and avian strains and fever is the number one symptom. After that sore throat, respiratory symptoms and digestive problems may be indicators as well. From a report studying early cases, the virus isn't that easily transmitted and close contact is required.

When I look at the numbers so far, I have to wonder if there's not a lot of hype on the part of governments. I suppose one cold argue preventing a global pandemic requires a bit of hype. 33,000 or so cases in the US with 170 deaths -- world-wide 90,000 cases with 382 deaths. I would imagine more people were killed by lightning or shark attacks or similar threats in 2009!

Could this be a case of scare/threaten the people to gain more control? That, of course, has never happened, right? Remember the phony Bush terrorism alerts, especially during the election of 2004? Was the Patriot Act really an appropriate response to 9-1-1? 1000+ pages no one read and of which no senator or member of congress wrote so much as one sentence? How about a war against Iraq for weapons of mass destruction? Obama is not Bush, you say? OK, true, but does he have any stake in how the American people feel about their relationship to the powers of the federal government and health care? Pundits have speculated that Obama's health care program, if not approved, may be his Waterloo. One thing I can tell you is Obama believes in big government solutions, and he doesn't (like the previous administration)necessarily care that much about personal freedom. Self-reliance is not as important as relying on big government and sweeping federal programs. People always seem to require a lifeline from the federal system in his world view. Like any good ultra-liberal, the government is always right as long as they're all liberal democrats. Not much different than Bush's, "you're either for me or against me" bullshit. Same energy, different ideology. So do I trust this administration anymore than the last? You know the answer. But I digress.

Let's talk about what we can all do for ourselves to help get through this global pandemic. I will offer low-tech, inexpensive and easy steps we can all do if we are willing to take some responsibility for our own health. Stay tuned.

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