Social Question

Zen's avatar

H1N1. How concerned are you and what precautions have you taken?

Asked by Zen (7738points) October 9th, 2009

Personally, I intend to get the vaccination for my kids and myself. I have also purchased and begun to use hand sanitizers, which is sonething I’d never used in the past.

You?

(I’d love to hear from Dr. C.)

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61 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I work in hospitals, so I plan on getting the vaccine and same goes for the kids and husband

augustlan's avatar

I’m already a pretty compulsive hand-washer, but I believe I’ve already had the H1N1 anyway. I got a nasty case of the flu about 3 weeks ago, well ahead of regular flu season (for which I always get a vaccine in October). Generally speaking, I’m not any more concerned about H1N1 than I am about the usual form. They both suck!

prasad's avatar

Must boost our immune system first to fight H1N1 virus.
I’ve been following:
1. Don’t go in public/crowded places.
2. Keep distance if someone sneezes or coughs.
3. Don’t take your hands near to your nose when you’ve touched public things like keyboards, mouse, door handles, etc.
4. Wash hands frequently with soap.
5. Drink much water.

You may try this. Take a tea spoon of dry ginger powder with warm water at least once in a day. This helps make your resistance to viruses stronger.

Jayne's avatar

I think I may have had a very mild case of it a month or so ago. I had a low fever, chills, and a lingering cough; I really wouldn’t have thought it was flu at all, except Cornell was positively inundated with H1N1 at the time (maybe still is, I haven’t heard much about it around campus recently). Really, I don’t see the cause for alarm, until there is any indication that it has become more virulent. Heck, it seems conceivable that the more people that get it now, the better, so that if it does mutate into a more dangerous form, people might still have immunity to it. But then, I’m clueless when it comes to medical matters, so that last bit might be total rubbish.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Not very concerned, no precautions.

StellarAirman's avatar

Not at all concerned over any other sickness from any other year. Not taking any precautions that I don’t usually take. I do have fun blaming everything wrong in the world on Swine Flu though. Just like El Nino and global warming, etc.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

There was a big scare at work a few months ago, right after a bunch of people died in Mexico. The factory I work at accepts truckloads of engines from Mexico, and we were warned to wash our hands and use hand sanitizers every time we had to handle the paperwork for those loads.

Sometimes I did, sometimes I got so busy that I forgot. I have never gotten a flu shot in my life, and I am not going to start now. I’m in pretty good health, I have a titanium immune system, and I think the pandemic issue is just one more thing the media uses to scare the fuck out of people. sort of like there is a child molester behind every tree bullshit.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I’m not really concerned at all. The only thing I’m doing differently is washing my hands more when I touch things that are in public.

Zen's avatar

@uberbatman Is Canada, i.e. the media in Canada, responding differently than America to this, in your opinion?

XOIIO's avatar

I don’t give a shit about it. The seasonal flu kills way more people than swine flu has.

The only reason people are making a big deal is because it’s so genetically diverse that it can mutate faster, and we might not be able to make a vaccine before it changes.

Yes, I do the regular (wash your hands, sneeze/cough into your elbow) but I always do. If you get it you get it, if you don’t you don’t.

DominicX's avatar

I’m a little concerned because apparently it’s targeting young healthy people (like me ^_^) and combined with the fact that I’m college, it presents a bigger problem. I pretty much always get flu shorts, so I’ll be doing that. If there’s a special vaccine for H1N1, I might get it, might not. We’ll see. I use hand sanitizer all the time and I wash my hands.

But I have a cold right now, actually. Hope I don’t infect any of you. :)

augustlan's avatar

@Zen

@uberbatman lives in New Jersey… why would he know about Canada?

prasad's avatar

H1N1 virus can live for about 8 hours, then it dies.

People here had been wearing masks, but now they’ve got a little bit of used to and rarely anyone wears a mask now. Wearing masks doesn’t eliminate of catching H1N1 virus. After all, it’s a virus; it’s very small in size and it can easily pass through it. However, those who have got swine flu, should wear masks so that others won’t get infected because of them.
@Simone_De_Beauvoir Do you use N 95 mask?

I’ve had a normal flu three times this month; but I’m alright now.

Everyday or the other, one or two deaths are reported. But, it’s getting down.

Little children, older people, pregnant women, and sick people should take proper precautions.

El_Cadejo's avatar

yea, what augustlan said.

Zen's avatar

Sorry. Confused you with another “Batman” – the dynamicduo. I’m tired and I can barely even see the screen. Sorry.

El_Cadejo's avatar

its all cool

shilolo's avatar

I’m personally concerned, but mainly because H1N1 seems to affect people with weakened immune systems and pregnant woman very severely. I’ve seen some serious hospitalized cases and even several deaths from H1N1. I will get vaccinated, and do my utmost to wash my hands regularly. Beyond that, not much to do.

tinyfaery's avatar

I never get vaccinated and I haven’t had a bad flu since I was a child. My theory is I’m permenently immune. I was sick for about a month when I
was 9. Hope those are not my famous last words.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I wash my hands like crazy already. I will get the flu vaccine and H1N1, mainly because I hate being sick. The flu sucks!

As a kid I was hospitalized for pneumonia (which followed a bad bout with the flu). Ever since then, I’ve been more susceptible to pneumonia. I regularly get the flu vaccine.

jazzjeppe's avatar

Here in Sweden (sorry, I know I might bore people to death with my “here in Sweden” rantings lol) the panic is more or less over. Even now when the vaccine just came in yesterday. No one cares anymore. I caught the virus a month ago and it was a week in bed with high fever and loads of coughing – nothing special, nothing alarming and it can happen to anyone.

prasad's avatar

Oh I forgot, H1N1 virus can live for about 8 hours in open/outside our bodies, then it dies.

Also, wash hands or don’t take your hands near your nose when give/take money, cause money is also a public thing.

Zen's avatar

@tinyfaery I am so superstitious about saying things like that I am sending you a special anti-evil eye.

shilolo's avatar

@tinyfaery There is no such thing as “permanent immunity”. The immune system is constantly and continuously reacting to both external and internal forces (like exposure to a new virus, or the development of a cancerous cell it needs to wipe out). You might have a more robust immune system than others, but “permanent immunity” doesn’t exist. Even vaccinated and/or immune individuals on rare occasions develop the illness to which they should be immune (a classic example is shingles in individuals who had chicken pox).

evegrimm's avatar

I’m mildly concerned, and so have decided to drink a packet of Emergen*C every day until flu season is over…if nothing else, I’ll have increased my vitamin levels. (And Emergen*C is tasty.)

Also, I try to stay away from people who seem sick, and make sure to wash my hands before eating and when I get home from school/shopping. (My grandma is the one who taught me to wash my hands as soon as I get home from going anywhere…if you think about it, it’s a very good habit!)

tinyfaery's avatar

It was a joke.

Thanks @Zen

shilolo's avatar

Yeah. Nothing warms my heart more than when a patient says “How can I have influenza now? I’ve never been sick like this before?”

prasad's avatar

oh and wash your hands after toilet.
toilets can have many more viruses besides H1N1, who knows

Samurai's avatar

I’ve heard from a few people that H1N1 isn’t very harmful itself, but the vaccine is.

augustlan's avatar

@Samurai There is no credible evidence of that… just an alarmist rumor, as far as I know.

XOIIO's avatar

In soviet Russia, flu swines you!

Allie's avatar

I’m not that worried about it.
I am getting the vaccine though because I’m a college student on a campus with thousands of other people in somewhat close quarters. We received an e-mail at the beginning of the school year telling us to get our shots.

deni's avatar

what. are some of you serious? not going in public for fear of getting this? that is ridiculous. unless you have a serious immune system problem, are 80, pregnant, or a child, then whats any more dangerous about this than anything else? i cant believe people are getting so bent out of shape. live your damn life, it’s a FLU not the bubonic plague. you’ll live. and if you do get it, let me list the awful things that might happen to you: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. and in some cases, vomiting and diarrhea. sounds pretty nasty.

i understand that this flu can lead to further infections and stuff and ultimately death, but so can the flu every year. this isn’t as big a problem as everyone wants you to think.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I’m not concerned and I haven’t taken any. I figured that my way of life (ie: what I eat, how much excercise I do or not and my hygene etc) have got me this far in life with no major ailments that I am not going to start panicking now because the media are blowing something else out of proportion.

casheroo's avatar

I won’t be getting the vaccine, and have to sign a form releasing my OB/GYN of any fault (I suppose that’s what it’s for) and saying that they recommended it for me, but I refused. I don’t remember having to do this with my other pregnancy, I was pregnant during flu season…but didn’t get the shot. Weird.

I am trying to wash my sons hands more, because if he gets sick…we ALL get sick. I am not a hand sanitizer kind of person, but I am when it comes to the winter season so I’ve put it on myself and son after playing at certain places (like a museum with lots of people)
That’s about all I’m doing. My parents will be getting the vaccine I believe, my mother works in a very large office building that has signs out front telling people who are sick or have sick family members to stay home. I think they are waiving the sick days thing especially for it.

Zen's avatar

Congratulations belatedly, @casheroo

ShanEnri's avatar

I think I’ve already had it.

syz's avatar

I hate, hate the knee jerk freak-out that our societies are subject to. Bird flu? OMG, we’re all going to die of bird flu. Civilization will end because of SARS. Swine flu? OMG, lets kill all the pigs. Idiots.

My employees are freaking out every time a coworker comes in that doesn’t feel good. You’d think a lynching is in order. One of my bosses is stockpiling Tamiflu, bottled water and giant cans of tuna fish.

Get the vaccine or don’t. Wash your hands. Don’t lick the snot off of sick people. Take basic precautions and get on with your life.

deni's avatar

@syz i lurve you for that answer

shilolo's avatar

@syz and everyone else. It is very easy to play “back-seat public health official”. It is the job of the CDC and WHO to try to prevent a massive pandemic that would kill millions and cause significant economic dysfunction on a global scale. None of us were around to witness the 1918 Spanish Flu, but it essentially ended WW1 because it debilitated whole armies (composed of young, able bodied men). That, in a nutshell, is what concerns the CDC-WHO. That H1N1 hasn’t wiped out millions of people (so far) is great news, but it is possible that a massive pandemic will happen. Making light of the situation during or after the fact is quite easy. Trying to protect the world from a massive catastrophe before it happens is hard. Since none of us can predict the future, public health officials err on the side of caution. You try being responsible for global health, and see how you would react under the circumstances. If you screw up, millions of people suffer a potentially preventable death. Want that on your conscious?

deni's avatar

@shilolo but its just a flu….people get the flu every year. people die from the flu every year. i dont understand what makes this any different.

syz's avatar

@shilolo I agree with you completely. So people should follow current recommendations and move on – being stupid doesn’t help the situation any. I have nothing but respect for the organizations trying to protect our health, it’s people in general that I have no respect for.

casheroo's avatar

@shilolo I think you’re being dramatic. The hazmat suit doesn’t help ;)

shilolo's avatar

@deni What makes H1N1 different was that it initially seemed to have a very high mortality (as originally reported in Mexico) and that there appears to be little residual immunity to it (i.e. as you said, we get flu every year, and our bodies have some resistance owing to accumulated immunity). That triggered a massive response from CDC and WHO, and as we are still learning about H1N1, it is prudent to treat it as a possible serious pandemic. Only time will tell what happens.

You are correct that proper hygiene is important, and avoiding public places irrational.

My point is that to belittle or minimize the global response is to misunderstand the nature of public health and the role of the WHO and CDC.

shilolo's avatar

@casheroo Those of us on the front lines in the influenza response would beg to differ.

deni's avatar

@shilolo I can totally understand that it’s a possible pandemic, but when people rearrange their lives over something that MIGHT happen to them, it seems ridiculous to me, and as you said, irrational. Thank you for the clear response :)

Facade's avatar

I’m not concerned and have taken no precautions.

Samurai's avatar

The vaccine could be population control itself. The flu is pretty harmless, even in direct contact. Unless you have a poor immunity.

casheroo's avatar

With me being against it and all, my husband who is insurance-less has been very sick for a while now…ever since my suspected case of h1n1. He got sick after me and our son (and my parents) and still has not gotten better. He took antibiotics because he thought it was a respiratory infection but is getting feverish all over again. He works a lot of hours a week, and just doesn’t seem to be getting better. I hope the test for h1n1 isn’t expensive, because we just can’t afford it. I think he needs rest hopefully he can get some soon.

Samurai's avatar

@casheroo I hope he gets better for your sake.

shilolo's avatar

@casheroo If your husband has been sick a long time, then the test is of little use, since even if it shows he is H1N1 positive, the CDC guidelines suggest that treatment be offered only in the first 48–72 hours. That said, plenty of docs would prescribe Tamiflu for a sick person with H1N1, independent of how long they have been sick.

mattbrowne's avatar

I intend to get the vaccination as well.

Zen's avatar

@mattbrowne Tihiye bari, yedidi.

shilolo's avatar

As an update, in the hospital where I work, in the last week alone there have been 3 otherwise healthy men with no medical problems whatsoever (age 30, 32, and 42) dying from influenza. And yet, I still don’t have my vaccine due to a national shortage. With two kids at home (who also haven’t been vaccinated), I am very nervous. So, while I urge anyone who can to get vaccinated, those who choose not to are taking a huge risk (plus, it frees up the vaccine for those who truly need and want it).

casheroo's avatar

@shilolo I keep hearing about the shortage, but I haven’t experienced it. My pediatrician office has it, and so does my OB. I’m not sure how many, I know they only do it on certain days though (the OB office) I’m shocked you arent “higher on the list” since you are exposed and if you got it, you’d risk exposing a lot of people (I know it’s contagious for a while, right?)

shilolo's avatar

@casheroo Different geographic locations have had different availability for reasons that are entirely unclear to me. Every time I talk to my pediatrician he laments the poor preparation for this issue. It nearly brings him to tears.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@shilolo It’s terrible here, too. The medical professionals in my locale are unprotected. This is possibly the worst planning if you can call it that ever! I don’t understand how corporate America got shots before the rest of us.

DominicX's avatar

So I got the vaccination yesterday. Haven’t had any side effects other than soreness in my arm, which I get from almost every injection I get. Sounds good so far. :)

mattbrowne's avatar

http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Swine+flu+mutation+discovered+in+Norway/1135250960891

A new mutation of the swine influenza virus has been discovered in Norway. The mutation found is slightly more dangerous than the original A(H1N1) virus in the sense that it attacks the lungs directly. The normal virus first invades the throat and the upper respiratory passage. The mutated virus also survives airborne longer than the original strain, but it is slightly less infectious. Various mutations of the swine flu virus have been discovered before. However, what makes the newly-found strain noteworthy is the fact that it was discovered from the first two victims to die of the disease in Norway.

According to analysis of genetic testing done by the World Health Organization, the Ukraine flu virus is an H1N1 mutation that is similar to the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic. The two flu virus outbreaks both have changes in the receptor binding domain D225G, and similar symptoms, which include bleeding in the lungs. Current estimates of the deaths attributed to the Ukraine flu outbreak is as many as 400, and increasing daily. The H1N1 mutation in the Ukraine also includes the symptoms of bleeding in the lungs, and has been described as an infection that completely destroys the lungs.

No need for panic. All we need to do is keep the awareness of the dangerous potential.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@mattbrowne Thank you for the update. The current version is hitting hard in my locale right now. I can’t imagine how many people will be ill once winter actually arrives and we get into “flu season”.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, Wisconsin looks pretty severe:

http://flutracker.rhizalabs.com/flu/by_US_county.html

The worldwide map is also interesting:

http://flutracker.rhizalabs.com/flu/by_country.html

The good news: the early warning systems are working. Any dangerous mutation somewhere and the information will flow everywhere almost instantly. Quite unlike 1918. Which also means that even the worst case today would be quite different. People would be required to stay at home. And enough people will already be vaccinated to run hospitals, electricity, water, food distribution and so forth. It would hurt the economy. But many companies are prepared. Some people would be able to work from home.

So again, no need to panic. We should trust our experts and follow their recommendations. Most likely the worst case won’t happen.

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