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Influenza Pandemic 2009

Typically the flu season begins and ends with the winter season. However, as we are all aware, the spring of 2009 has very different ideas! A rare and "baffling" flu virus is rapidly wreaking havoc in Mexico, with over 103 confirmed deaths as of Monday, April 27, 2009.

In addition, this flu virus is not only spreading in the United States, but all over the world! It would behoove each and every individual to take major and immediate precautions to avoid contracting this virulent strain of flu. Why? Listen to this quote from the Arizona Star published April 24, 2009: "Health officials are investigating a never-before-seen form of the flu that combines pig, bird and human viruses. "Another anomaly to this virus is it seems to be attacking victims which are not the typical" at-risk" groups susceptible to a flu virus. Instead of the elderly, very young, or those with compromised immune systems, victims are often young adults and in good health! A key feature to a flu virus is its propensity to change and mutate from year to year.

This requires various vaccines to match the particular flu outbreak. In the case of this particular flu virus, there is a major is a "never-before-seen" flu virus! Please pay close attention to this direct quote from Dr. John Carlo, the Dallas County Medical Director: "This strain of swine influenza that's been cultured in a laboratory is something that's not been seen anywhere in the United States or in the world, so this is actually a new strain of influenza that's been identified." So what immediate and deliberate steps should you and your family take right now? According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), there are steps which can be taken to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading the flu virus.

Here are some recommendations:

1. Keep your distance from and avoid close contact with people who are sick. Avoid public places.

2. If you are sick, stay home.

3. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and turn your head away from people when you cough or sneeze.

4. Practice good hygiene and wash your hands often.

5. Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth.

6. Keep your immune system healthy, get plenty of sleep, eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly, drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, and keep stress levels to a minimum.

  © Mirza Rais 2009

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