Do you feel a great shock after hearing about the outbreak of ‘swineflu’? Then, you are one of us. Cambodia does not have any outbreak of swineflu yet. But I’m afraid in the future there will be since we’re one of the world. That also has something to do with our neighbouring countries like Vietnam and Thailand, one of the most Asian tourist transits.
This raises concerns among millions of people, I know. But what else can we do? Why are there new viruses developing every year? Are the medical scientists and researchers trying hard enough? We (the world) have had Spanish Flu, Avian Flu, SARS, Bird Flu and now Swine Flu, which is known as a descendent of Spanish Flu that killed millions in the past. Yesterday, the Cambodian prime minister assured the whole nation that there’s not even one single case of Swine Flu yet but alerted the whole country to be careful about this.
We are, indeed. But not sure if many poor people are informed.
Prevention of spread in humans
Influenza spreads between humans through coughing or sneezing and people touching something with the virus on it and then touching their own nose or mouth. Swine flu cannot be spread by pork products, since the virus is not transmitted through food. The swine flu in humans is most contagious during the first five days of the illness although some people, most commonly children, can remain contagious for up to ten days. Diagnosis can be made by sending a specimen, collected during the first five days, to the CDC for analysis.
Recommendations to prevent spread of the virus among humans include using standard infection control against influenza. This includes frequent washing of hands with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand sanitizers, especially after being out in public. Although the current trivalent influenza vaccine is unlikely to provide protection against the new 2009 H1N1 strain, vaccines against the new strain are being developed and could be ready as early as June 2009. Experts agree that hand-washing can help prevent viral infections, including ordinary influenza and the new swine flu virus. Influenza can spread in coughs or sneezes, but an increasing body of evidence shows little particles of virus can linger on tabletops, telephones and other surfaces and be transferred via the fingers to the mouth, nose or eyes. Alcohol-based gel or foam hand sanitizers work well to destroy viruses and bacteria. Anyone with flu-like symptoms such as a sudden fever, cough or muscle aches should stay away from work or public transportation and should see a doctor to be tested. Social distancing is another tactic. It means staying away from other people who might be infected and can include avoiding large gatherings, spreading out a little at work, or perhaps staying home and lying low if an infection is spreading in a community.