Monday, May 4, 2009

H1N1 Swine Flu: Is this the zombie apocolypse?

Greetings and condolences once again fellow travelers. My recent prolonged existence in the land of the living has certainly not been without it's fair share of excitement. It would seem that regardless of what remote hovel you occupy you would be made well aware of the current H1N1 virus,aka Swine Flu outbreak. Odd that such a minor viral pest, with no more adverse side effects than a normal human influenza virus that this should receive such widespread, nearly panicked global attention, after all "seasonal human influenza" claims the lives of 250,000 to 500,000 people annually (according to the WHO). Or, my dear conspiracy theorists, is there more to it?


Here is what the Center for Disease Control is telling us...(WARNING official and rather dull text follows in italics, but regardless if H1N1, Rage virus or Zombie outbreak it will all look the same, bet on it.)

WHAT TO DO?

Background

The novel H1N1 flu virus is causing illness in infected persons in the United States and countries around the world. CDC expects that illnesses may continue for some time. As a result, you or people around you may become ill. If so, you need to recognize the symptoms and know what to do.
Symptoms

Common symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, diarrhea, and vomiting. Nearly all persons with flu will have at least two of these symptoms. (GM: yeah sounds just like what you'd expect if you were bitten by a zombie to me) The high risk groups for novel H1N1 flu are not known at this time but it’s possible that they may be the same as for seasonal influenza. People at higher risk of serious complications from seasonal flu include people age 65 years and older, children younger than 5 years old, pregnant women, people of any age with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), and people who are immunosuppressed (e.g., taking immunosuppressive medications, infected with HIV).
Avoid Contact With Others

If you are sick, you may be ill for a week or longer. You should stay home and avoid contact with other persons, except to seek medical care. If you leave the house to seek medical care, wear a mask or cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. In general you should avoid contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness. At the current time, CDC believes that this virus has the same properties in terms of spread as seasonal flu viruses. With seasonal flu, studies have shown that people may be contagious from one day before they develop symptoms to up to 7 days after they get sick. Children, especially younger children, might potentially be contagious for longer periods.
Treatment is Available for Those Who Are Seriously Ill

It is expected that most people will recover without needing medical care. (GM: or at least appear to before they go on a murderous rampage gnawing at any breathing being in eye shot)

If you have severe illness or you are at high risk for flu complications, contact your health care provider or seek medical care. Your health care provider will determine whether flu testing or treatment is needed. Be aware that if the flu becomes wide spread, there will be little need to continue testing people, so your health care provider may decide not to test for the flu virus.

Antiviral drugs can be given to treat those who become severely ill with influenza. These antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaler) with activity against influenza viruses, including H1N1 flu virus. These medications must be prescribed by a health care professional.

There are two influenza antiviral medications that are recommended for use against H1N1 flu. The drugs that are used for treating H1N1 flu are called oseltamivir (trade name Tamiflu ®) and zanamivir (Relenza ®). (GM: although the WHO ha already said these seem to have little effect on the current contamination. But that's OK they're just trying to keep you blissfully calm and comforted) As the H1N1 flu spreads, these antiviral drugs may become in short supply. Therefore, the drugs will be given first to those people who have been hospitalized or are at high risk of complications. The drugs work best if given within 2 days of becoming ill, but may be given later if illness is severe or for those at a high risk for complications.
Emergency Warning Signs

If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care.

In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

* Fast breathing or trouble breathing
* Bluish or gray skin color (GM: who here has seen Dawn of the Dead?)
* Not drinking enough fluids
* Severe or persistent vomiting
* Not waking up or not interacting
* Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
* Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
* Seemingly heightened senses of hearing and smell
* Heightened uncontrollable aggression towards others beyond the standard
report card comment "does not play well with others"
(GM: OK those last two I added)
In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

* Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
* Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
* Sudden dizziness
* Confusion
* Severe or persistent vomiting
* Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
* desire to eat under prepared meat products, human flesh and headcheese
(GM:OK that was me again)

Protect Yourself, Your Family, and Community

* Stay informed. Health officials will provide additional information as it becomes available. Visit the CDC H1N1 Flu website.
* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
* Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
* Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
* If you are sick with a flu-like illness, stay home for 7 days after your symptoms begin or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. Keep away from other household members as much as possible. This is to keep you from infecting others and spreading the virus further.
* Learn more about how to take care of someone who is ill in "Taking Care of a Sick Person in Your Home"
* Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds, and other social distancing measures.
* If you don’t have one yet, consider developing a family emergency plan as a precaution. This should include storing a supply of extra food, medicines, and other essential supplies. Further information can be found in the “Flu Planning Checklist”
(GM: Seriously did I just read that right!!??? DEVELOP A FAMILY EMERGENCY PLAN!! With extra supply of food, water and other essential supplies!!!??? for a flu outbreak likely less significant than our "normal seasonal flu outbreak". Sorry but that seems a little extreme wouldn't you think?) You know I'd almost bet that was a cut and paste at least twice before replacing Nazi with Communist and flu respectively.

So this is all practical, and if we stay the course, and listen for updates, and do what the authorities tell us we all will be fine? Gee I don't know about you but I can't recall the last time that Miami was effectively shut down, with airlines canceling services to the US during any normal "normal flu" season, or the when World Health Organization called for a class 5 pandemic, even during such known deadly ailments such as the SARS outbreak a few years ago and the West Nile virus, a deadly summertime reality here in North America and Europe claiming hundreds of lives every year, or China just started detaining people based on nationality, ignoring human rights and banning import on meat products, or...Ummm, yeah forget that stuff about China.

Some interesting facts with possible Zombie plague parallels:

On March 18th. The Mexican Government starts investigating a mysterious disease in the province of Veracruz.

On April 6th. A US company located in Veracruz reports changes in behavioral patterns of local residents.

So far the World Health Organization claim that the virus is being contained and those affected have all been immediately connected to visits to Mexico, and no secondary transmission as been confirmed. Yet daily numbers of the infected are increasing. (Getting bit or wounded will do that you know.)

Mexico has confirmed 16 deaths, but are investigating an additional 85 deaths that have been reported since. (forget the paper masks, issue chain male.)

The Mexican Health Agency starts taking international flack for not getting heath workers to the families of the first reported casualty for nearly three weeks citing logistical problems. (Can you say zombie horde.)

Areas that have reported a limited number of early, less serious cases that had appeared to be recovering, suddenly have more and more serious cases. Nothing is said of the earlier patients current status. (If that doesn't scream dead returning to life and attacking others nothing does.)

Well folks it's too early to say that this is the beginning of the Zombie apocalypse, but stay tuned to this blog for any further developing information which could indicate that Hell is in fact full. In the mean time now might be a good time to check if you still have those Y2K supplies and buy some more ammunition.

Gary Macabre

4 comments:

A. Zombie said...

As a brain-eating zombie, I can tell you definitively the apocalypse is near. It's just taking a while for us to shuffle all the way from Mexico.

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Anonymous said...

thanks for being out there...cause a few of us feel the same way... so maybe im not crazy... :)

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