May Day

1 05 2009

It’s May Day, the day we used to hang tiny paper vases full of flowers on doorknobs. 

Today, we’re going to write about the flu, again, but this should be the last daily blog about this subject.  Oh, we’ll cover it fairly often, but not every day.  So here goes.

We’re getting some good news about influenza A (H1N1) [aka swine flu and/or 2009-H1N1].

CDC laboratory testing has found that this new virus does not have similar characteristics to the 1918 pandemic virus that resulted in millions of deaths worldwide.

Also, the disease-causing markers that were previously found in the avian influenza A (H5N1) virus that has caused human infections and deaths in other countries have not been found in the new virus.

All this suggests that, while we are dealing with a new strain for which we have no vaccine, it probably isn’t going to be the monster we feared.

The CDC is estimating at least two more weeks before they have a vaccine virus that can be sent to vaccine manufacturers.  It will then take about six months, maybe less, to produce large quantities of vaccine.

There are antiviral medications available by prescription, should you become infected, so you’re not defenseless.  But, if you are ill, stay home for seven days or until your symptoms go away, whichever is longer.  This will keep you from accidently infecting others.

And one last note today…we can’t get this new flu from eating pork, so pig out on the bacon!  Oh, and Happy May Day!