This winter I have seen a lot of flu going around, but so far we have been lucky and neither my wife nor I have had it. However, in doing some genealogy, I found where several children in my family had died from the flu pandemic of 1918.
This and a couple of recent articles on flu that I encountered have me thinking. The first is an article from a Japanese newspaper “The Asahi Shimbun” that covers Asia. The article states “China confirms limited interhuman infection of H7N9 bird flu”.
The article goes on to say “Human-to-human transmission through close contact does not immediately induce a major epidemic as long as it occurs only sporadically. But viral mutations that facilitate interhuman infection could prompt a global pandemic.” Here is a link to the entire article http://ajw.asahi.com/article/asia/china/AJ201401290063.
The second is a picture from AP dated January 2014 showing health workers in Hong Kong killing 20,000 chickens after they tested positive for H7N9. This is the first time H7N9 has been found in Hong Kong.
The world Health Organization describes the flu as follows “most patients with this infection have had severe pneumonia. Common symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. We know of only a small number of people who presented with influenza-like symptoms and then recovered without medical attention.”
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides the following information on medications that can be used to treat bird flu.
“DC recommends oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) and zanamivir (Relenza®) for treatment of H7N9. Most of the H7N9 viruses that have been studied are likely susceptible (sensitive) to the two influenza antiviral drugs that are used to treat seasonal flu. Those drugs are oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) and zanamivir (Relenza®) (neuraminidase inhibitors). Like seasonal influenza viruses, avian A(H7N9) viruses are resistant to the influenza antiviral drugs known as the adamantanes.”
Here is the link to an article that I posted on the subject last month, Flu Pandemic, When Will One Occur and How to Avoid Getting Sick?. My mother was an infectious disease nurse prior to antibiotics, here is some information that came from her. Infectious Disease Nursing.
As with most diseases when you follow good hygiene habits and keep your immune system strong, the better your chances of avoiding the flu pandemic.