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April 27th, 2009
04:40 PM ET

CNN answers your FAQs on swine flu

CNN wants to help its viewers and online users get answers surrounding the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico. We've had an outpouring of questions come in. The following are among the most frequently asked questions.

Q: Why is it more deadly in Mexico than anywhere else it’s surfaced?

CNN: The short answer is investigators don’t know. The deaths have occurred in healthy people, as opposed to those usually most at risk from the flu: the young, the old and those with compromised immune systems. The same thing happened in recent years with the SARS and avian flu outbreaks. The spreading virus starts a cascade within the body as the immune system overreacts. Fluid builds up in the lungs and inflammatory cells throughout the body react to the infection.

Q: Does the normal influenza vaccine offer protection against swine flu virus?

CNN: It may offer some. This particular virus seems to be a combination of several different strains: two strains of swine flu, one strain of bird flu and one strain of human flu. It's the human flu portion of the virus that that the flu vaccine may offer some protection against.

Q: Can animals, such as dogs or cats, contract the swine flu? If so, can they transfer it to humans?

CNN: There is no evidence that dogs and cats can contract swine flu. Still, this is a new strain of swine flu virus, and investigators can’t rule it out until more tests are done. In the past, the avian H5N1 flu has infected domestic cats and at least one dog in Thailand, according to the scientific literature. In 2004, the equine H3 virus appeared to infect dogs. There have been no reports of dogs or cats spreading the flu to people.

Q: How long will it take if a person has the flu before they show symptoms?

CNN: The typical incubation period for influenza is 1-4 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The symptoms are similar to the common flu. They include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, coughing, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Q: How does a person contract swine flu? Does it come from pigs?

CNN: Swine flu may have come from pigs originally, but it is now being spread from among people. The virus spreads the same way the seasonal flu does. When an infected person coughs or sneezes around another person, the latter is put at risk. People can become infected by touching something with the flu virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes. An infected person can pass the virus to another before any symptoms even develop

Q: Should I avoid traveling to Mexico because of the swine flu?

CNN: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that Americans avoid all "non-essential" travel to Mexico.

Q: The swine flu has been labeled as  H1N1. The strain that killed millions of people in 1918 was also labeled H1N1; is it the same virus?

CNN: It is not the same virus. The current strain is a new variation of an H1N1 virus, which is a mix of human and animal versions. H1 refers to type of hemagglutinin, which is involved in the virus gaining entry into a target cell. N1 refers to neuraminidase, an enzyme that allows the release of copies of the virus from infected cells. A new variation can be created when an animal is infected with two or more different viruses at the same time. The viruses can exchange genes. This can be particularly dangerous because people may not have any immune defense against it.

You may have heard to this swine flu virus refered to as "Type A." There are three general types of influenza, Type A, Type B and Type C. Type A occurs in many species and historically has been the sole cause of pandemics.

Q: Where did this swine flu come from?  How did the outbreak occur in Mexico?

CNN: Researchers do not know yet know. People usually get swine flu from infected pigs. For example, farmers handling infected pigs can contract the virus. However, some human cases have occurred without contact with pigs or places they inhabited.

CNN will continue to answer your questions as the story progresses.


Filed under: Global Health • H1N1 Flu

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soundoff (442 Responses)
  1. Rick

    My folks are casino slot machine players. Slot play requires pressing the "play buttons" repeatedly. Since numerous patrons, from all over the country and world, play these machines, this seems to me like an ideal way to spread the virus. "Casino flu" is already a slang term for minor illnesses spread by handling chips and playing the slots. However, swine flu is not minor.

    Is the casino industry doing anything to alleviate this problem? Are they making special efforts to frequently wipe down the machines with disinfectant spray? Are they making plans to possibly hand out disinfectant towelettes, or perhaps latex gloves, to their patrons, if the situation worsens?

    If the situation really gets bad, would state health departments consider closing the casinos, similar to the actions taken by Mexican authorities? Because many states derive so much revenue from gambling and related tourism, might they be reluctant to act?

    How much is the casino industry cooperating with health authorities? Have they even been contacted by health agencies? What does the American Gaming Association say about this? I sincerely hope they have contingency plans, for both their sake and ours.

    April 28, 2009 at 08:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Adam

    That didn't answer any of my questions at all...

    April 28, 2009 at 08:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Evan MacKinnon

    Sanjay, you da man!

    April 28, 2009 at 08:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Linda Evans

    I don't have a question just a comment. Normally, I am in agreement with CNN but this time I am angry. With the idea of a possible pandemic, sending Dr. Sanjay Gupta to Mexico was not only irresponsible but possibly deadly. The fact that one person can spread this to many , makes it unconscionable. We are not so stupid as viewers that he could not have covered the story from the studio. Why do we need to see him walking the halls of infected hospitals?

    April 28, 2009 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Ramiro Chavez

    The Government of Mexico is highly irresponsible for not having effective health inspections for the pig farms in that large country.

    We go to Kino Bay in Sonora on a regular basis. In Km 70, between Hermosillo and Kino Bay there is a pig farm that smells terrible due to the lack of sanitary conditions for the people working there as well as the pigs being raised there.

    The World Community should demand the commmitment of the Government of Mexico for a effective Plan of inspection of their bovine, chiken and pig farms.

    April 28, 2009 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Eric

    The flu is much milder in the US. Maybe this is too optimistic, but could the deadlier strain of the swine flu have killed itself off by being TOO deadly and severe?

    An illness needs to be milder for its host to stay up and about, spreading it to more people. That could be why the milder version is spreading, and the worst illness and deaths have only been in mexico.

    April 28, 2009 at 09:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Sumner Spradling

    If people think they have the flu, they should ask their doctor for an in-office flu test. It's quick and easy, and uses a nasal swab to test for Flu-A and Flu-B in under 10 minutes. Not many people know this is available. Knowing for sure whether or not it's flu can avoid unnecessary treatment and worry.

    April 28, 2009 at 09:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Kate Robins

    Would pharmacogenomics answer why some people are more susceptible or get more acute cases than others? Some HIV pos people, for ex., don't get AIDS because of mutated co-recptor and they derive from Derbyshire, England, as did survivors of bubonic plague. Anyone analyzing samples from swine-flu afflicted around the world?

    April 28, 2009 at 09:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. randy stroud

    what are the probabilities that this current flu outbreak could be a mutated recombinant form of H5N1 Avian flu. it would be interesting to know a little more about the farm that the 4 year old lived on. i understand the virus is 2 parts swine,1 part avian, and 1 part human.

    April 28, 2009 at 09:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Andrew Powell

    Dear Dr. Gupta and CNN,

    I'm wondering why the U.S. Federal Government has left our own Pandemic Response Stage at 0. The WHO level is at 4, and simply reading the chart as show on pandemicflu.gov indicates we should be at a 4 or a 5.

    Why has our government left it at 0? Have they abandoned this system, are they deferring to the WHO, or have they forgotten about it completely?

    April 28, 2009 at 10:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Rachel

    Let's not close the border and halt flights to and from Mexico or anything. Let's let people keep going, getting infected, and bringing it back even though we know it is spreading from person-to-person (NYC prep school, anyone?).

    Seriously, what is the problem? Mexico needs to be cut off before any additional infections occur. People are coming back sick and we're still letting them come and go! Enough with the political correctness factor. This is health & safety, not personal offense.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Rick Boston

    This may not sound politically correct, but are the persons dying part of the large underclass of Mexican citizens? The gap between the rich and poor is tremendous and those on the bottom part of the socioeconomic scale are often chronically undernourished and have less access to health care.

    Could the deaths in Mexico be tied to these factors? It seems odd that US citizens getting the same infection suffer only mild symptoms while Mexicans are dying.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. rgs123

    I appreciate the dangers of the flu. But how does this swine flu epidemic/pandemic differ from the normal annual flu season? I see statistics that there are 90M annual cases of flu in the US, with 20,000 deaths. So if we are seeing 10s, 100s or even 1000s of cases – with no deaths – why such the level of concern? Not dismissive, really interested in uderstanding.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Michelle

    I live in Pennsylvania where, I believe, there is not a single reported case of swine flu. My 75 year old mother has decided to essentially shut herself in the house and not accept visits from anyone until "this whole thing passes." She claims to be just following the advice of Dr. Gupta on CNN. No, she doesn't suffer from dementia, so whatever her mistake, it's not that it isn't based essentially on reality. So you tell me, are you sensationalizing this or not? What's going on?

    April 28, 2009 at 10:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Cathy Ramsey

    I thought the swine flu epidemic of the 70's started in China. I may be mistaken but didn't it start with ducks who were living in close quarters with pigs and humans. The duck got sick and the virus crossed over to the pigs then to humans creating the human version of swine flu? If I am correct then looking for the origin of the outbreak might could be narrowed down to looking for the same type of situation again. Pig farms located close to where geese or ducks also reside. I may have this virus confused with another one that was also very dangerous.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Paige

    I was wondering as far as the swine flu is concerned, would it be tied to the rocket launch that N. Korea sent into the ocean last month? It just seems crazy that the majority of the infected are in the costal states, especially mexico, which is directly across from Korea. I believe that the virus seems to be man-made and could have possibly been sent into the ocean to where it would contaminate the water.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Teresa Sanchez-Howes

    I'm from Mexico City living in Salt Lake City. I'm watching very closely Dr. Gupta's reports from "D.F" my question is why not the news have shown the faces of the people who have died because of the flu. Why the Mexican authorities are hidding the human factor and only showing statistics? Why so many people are dying in Mexico when the ones infected in the U.S. have not been fatal. What is the difference on treatment?
    Why not the Mexican authorities have detected the origin of the contamination if there is such pig farm.
    Why if it wasn't such pig farm and was just generic engineered as part of a bactereoligical treath to the United States by using Mexico as a next door neighbor and the daily heavy human traffic between both nations.
    Please Dr. Gupta, keep investigating.
    Sincerely,

    Teresa Sanchez-Howes

    April 28, 2009 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Beverly Solomon

    Please investige and tells us something we do not know already!

    We need to know what testing is done that confirms Swine Flu. How long does it take to get the results of the culture and how long do we have to be sick before a culture will even show up the infection, can we know on the first day? Sometimes testing too early will not give results and so to determine matter of factly testing is done a few days later..we need to know the facts. If the facts are not known then we need to know this as well...

    Can it even be determined by a throat culture? If not, how do we determine matter of factly that we have Swine flu and not something else? What is the name of the medicine we need take to fight it? What is the reccommended dosage?

    Then we need to know…what the incubation time period is, meaning once the virus is passed how long before symptoms start to appear and also we need to know, how long are we infected and able to pass it on to others….then we will be better prepared to deal with this.

    The most important is the testing to determine if it is in fact Swine flu or not…I am surprised Dr. Sunjay Gupta/CNN does not talk on these points at all, but continue to repeat the same things we hear on every station over and over again….we need to have real information…Please educate us not just use up air time repeating the same stories over and over…give us Americans more credit then this.

    Talk to us like our President, thank God is doing and treat us like we have some brains….

    April 28, 2009 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Carol Holt

    It occurs to me curious that "those most at risk" don't seem to be getting this disease, but otherwise young healthy adults are. Perhaps the flu shot is doing more good than expected as the one's most likely to have gotten a flu shot are seniors and children and they are not the ones getting sick.
    Just a thought.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Douglas

    Historically, a person that already has a normally transmissible human flu that is in constant close contact with animals infected with their own type of flu stands the slight chance of contracting two separate strains of flu simultaneously. The two strains can exchange genetic material within that infected person to create a new strain with DNA from both.

    This doesn't happen often, for obvious reasons.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Bill

    Why should people trust the company 'Baxter,' to make a vaccine for this particular strain of flu?

    This is the same firm that "accidentally" sent a deadly form of live avian flu to the Avir Green Hill Biotechnology in Austria. This virus came close to infecting people at a Vienna Hospital, who were in turn prescribed 'Tamiflu,' by the same company Baxter who almost killed millions of people.

    Also, why would anyone even want to get vaccinated? Vaccines can help a virus mutate into a more lethal form.

    April 28, 2009 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Chip Truwit, MD

    I wonder if we were so smart years ago allowing the commercial air carriers to cut back on the number of air exchanges on flights. As I recall, to save fuel, the carriers reduced the air exchanges from over 30 to less than 5 per hour. I always turn off the overhead air vent when flying. At least anecdotally, it seems obvious that with such a reduction, the incidence of flight-related airborne illnesses has risen. Perhaps the governent should focus its attention on this aspect of the crisis and encourage the carriers to re-up the number of in-flight air exchanges.

    April 28, 2009 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. lucie laversanne

    First point : The flu only happens in winter or spring time. No such thing as summer flu. Why is not anyone talking about the effect of summer heat on the virus when that could be the solution? if the weather is hot, then the virus will die out. No??

    Second point: Mexico is part of the Strategic North American Perimeter. Why did the US and canada leave it to the Mexican authorities alone to deal with the flu problems in Oaxaca in march and early april? Why dont we intervene in the field? It is a matter of imbalance between and emerging-third world situation as opposed to US and Canada, where the cost of our interdependency can be phenomenal.

    April 28, 2009 at 11:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Richard

    One always hears of the number of people who died contracting this flu, but never how many survived it! I wonder what the approx. ratio of persons are who died after contracting it – that's the only way to really know how dangerous it is...

    April 28, 2009 at 11:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Martin Rosse

    If you want to perform responsible journalism, please tell us the total number of travelers who have entered the U.S. from Mexico, not just how many travelers have fallen sick after returning from Mexico. Without that context, you are adding to the scare factor and not being responsible.

    April 28, 2009 at 11:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Rene

    I was in the military in the late 70's when there was a swine flu outbreak as well as a vaccine which had been developed. Is there any of this vaccine stored at the CDC or DOD? If so, is there any similarity in the former strain which could be used to develop a current vaccine?

    April 28, 2009 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Bill Jones

    You are overlooking an obvious big question. What is the mortality rate of this virus?

    People want to know that so they can wrap their heads around how bad this stuff really is.

    April 28, 2009 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Rhea Broadbent

    I have tickets to go to San Carlos Mexico Senora for Friday, May 1st. I was debating on going, but seeing that the flu has also hit the states, I don't see where it makes any difference. I have as much of a chance getting it at walmart, touching carts and items that other's have also touched. I live in New York State, which has the highest incidence in the United States of America. Though I am closer to the Adirondacks than New York City, there are people from NY city coming here everyday.
    Also, I have noticed that, (though common sense would tell you this) sharing drinks, and eating utensils has not been stressed at all. I couldn't tell you how many times I see people using the same straw for their drinks, using the same spoon to sample a taste, etc. It is amazing how many people do that, and not just family members. One person saying to the other, "Here, taste this, isn't it great?" I do think that should be stressed more for those who are in the habit of sharing drink and food!

    April 28, 2009 at 11:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Loren

    Please inform the public that it is estimated that 20,000+people die and 100,000+ are hospitalized every year from complications related to the flu. The way this flu is being covered in the press, if only a portion of these deaths are from this strain, we will have panic in a perfectly normal situation.

    April 28, 2009 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Gerald

    What are the chances of this being a genetically created virus by a pharmaceutical company who will miraculously present the cure a month from now and generate millions in profit.

    April 28, 2009 at 11:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Mike

    My brother got back from Mexico City last week from a business trip and was feeling really bad with severe flu. He went to the doctors and he told them where he was and how he was feeling and they send him home with a instructions on how to wash his hands better when traveling!!! Can you believe that!!!!!!

    April 28, 2009 at 11:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Pat Felosky

    I think that everyone working in any kind of food-related business should be tested DAILY before working around food. This could easily be done by having their temperature taken and sent home if it exceeds 100 degrees. There are alot of foreigners working in the restaurant business that may be traveling back and forth to their country. The swine flu would be spread rapidly if even one person working in a restaurant had it.

    April 28, 2009 at 12:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. CH

    I agree with Beverly Solomon. CNN you FAQ is useless. Someone tell me what the odds are if 100 people get Swine Flu how many could die. 10%? 5%? I have a feeling the Media is having a field day with Swine Flu since there is nothing else to report this week.

    April 28, 2009 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. David

    I wish Dr. Gupta and others in the main stream media would start telling the truth that this strain is impossible to have happend naturally but is in fact synthetic. Really brings some harrowing questions as to just what is going on.

    April 28, 2009 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. David

    Gerald, you may be right.

    April 28, 2009 at 12:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Steffany

    I have heard that Tamiflu was working to help cure the sxs that are actually killing the people. If that is the case, why is there cause for concern to create a "miraculous cure"? All I am really concerned with is if it is fatal. If it is just a virus that causes mild sxs for 7-14 days no big deal, but if it is something that has a higher chance of killing you than I am interested. My other thought is....... if it can stay dormant for 4 days than how do we know that our family is not sick from it right now. My husband just feel sick yesterday with common sxs of pollen allergies/cold AEB scratchy throat, decreased appetite, lethargic, sneezing,headache,runny nose, ect... Now am I supposed to take him to the doctor or let it run its corse? What if it is "swine flu" and it infects my family which in turns infects the public? Or go out and flood the ER and doctors office for a simple cold/allergy? I just would like some suggestions on what to do. I do realize there are still unanswered questions that even the CDC does'nt know so I don't blame anyone just poundering if you will on what to do............ (?)

    April 28, 2009 at 12:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. S.T.T.

    Rhea..

    You speak of common sense yet, you forget to apply it when making a decision to travel to Mexico. If the numbers of people infected in Mexico are 10 times than the number of people in New York, don't you think you are increasing your chances of getting the virus?

    Just a thought.

    April 28, 2009 at 12:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Donna

    Why aren't preventive vaccines being started in case this turns into a pandemic? By then it's too late is it not? I would think local health officials would begin a demand for such proactive response!

    April 28, 2009 at 12:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Stanley Jones-Umberger

    Swine flu that infects humans exists because humans raise birds and pigs in crowded, unhealthy conditions in close proximity to human communities. It went from birds to pigs to humans, mutating along the way. We need to eliminate factory farming, but nobody is talking about this.

    April 28, 2009 at 12:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. PJ

    Isn't this just another attempt to get our focus away from the recent revelations about the criminal act of torture? These numbers seem awful small to represent a pandemic. Also, didn't we go through this once before?

    April 28, 2009 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Judi

    I have heard that if diagnosed, the swine flu is very treatable with antiviral medication. I would like to know why so many people in Mexico are dying. Is it because they don't have the treatment facilities necessary? Is it because people didn't go to the doctor, thinking it was just the flu? Apparently Mexico doesn't have the supplies needed to fight this.

    I also have to questions the media's coverage of this. Almost everything I have read is doom and gloom and the world is coming to an end. Why aren't you putting it into perspective? 50 confirmed cases in the US. In any given day, there is 30 kids absent from the local high school because of sickness. My husband and I are scheduled to go to Mexico in a week and half. I'm not cancelling my trip because the media is scaring the public. We plan on being dilligent and washing hands and everything else we are supposed to do.

    Obama is right, we should be vigilent but we shouldn't panic. Shame on the media correspondents for making it sound like the world is coming to an end. I even read an article on the internet stating what a "pandemic" would be like. Talk about scare tactics.

    April 28, 2009 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. lea wisconsin

    My biggest concern is that I have seen no difference in how the goverment is handling this outbreak compared to all the others. This tells me if we have a real problem other than the flu. Is the goverment ready to take steps if something bigger comes along. If they are not progessing to care care of things like this better, what happens if we have a biological germ or global disaster.

    April 28, 2009 at 12:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. John Staumph

    How was this not concocted in a laboratory someplace? You are telling me that swine, bird, and human flu mutates into one, and can harm humans, and it can occur all over the world? Wouldn't the virus keep mutating by the time it hit Britain, Scotland, etc?

    April 28, 2009 at 12:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Elaine

    Irrespective of what happens relative to the transmission of swine flu, it is a great time to explain how to practice a more sterile technique to the general population:

    1. If you sneeze or cough in your hands or you help your child blow their nose, etc., wash your hands.

    2. Food handlers, especially in coffee shops, take your money and then handle the RIM of your cup and put their entire hand on the lid, thereby transmitting ALL the bacteria collected on their hands. Someone who doesn't handle money should fill the cups or, at the very least, no one should touch the portions of the cup or silverware that goes in your mouth. We need to demand such care. Also, before and after eating, wash your hands.

    3. Think Donald Trump is correct, we do not need to shake hands! Also, we do not need communal cups or hosts in churches.

    4. Stay home from work/school when you are sick and practice cleanliness when you are there. People should be encouraged to disinfect their keyboards and to wash their hands when they enter the coffee/lunch room...have Purell at the door.

    Think a few simple things like this will go far to preventing illness in general. Hope this scare will raise public awareness of common cleanliness issues!

    April 28, 2009 at 12:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Lisa

    The Swine Flu is a combination of the Nile Virus and a tetanic toxoide.
    easily treated with Biomagnetism

    April 28, 2009 at 12:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. s. carney

    I know that viruses can rapidly mutate while spreading in its host population, and they steal snips of host DNA.

    Is a new virus, springing up out of third world urbia with such a mix of strain markers at once, really any surprise?

    Who were the experts initially reporting multiple genetic strain signatures?

    April 28, 2009 at 12:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. cheryl a. brooks

    The All Mighty Dollar continues to rule over our safety..... It's O.K. if the Mexicans work here illegally, break the law, whatever the case may be they are excluded from doing wrong as long as they get up and report to their perspective jobs. No one knows anything about them except that the will work for low wages...

    These Mexican workers are preparing our foods, watching our children, selling all kinds of food on every street corner. We'll for sure will have the Swine Flu in record time.... We have at least fifteen million illegal Mexicans over here going back and forth to Mexico, now our lives mean nothing and fifteen million Mexicans are more important than us law abiding citizens... My son was shot fourteen times by illegal mexican- gangs. They are still running around loose
    to shoot or kill someone else's child. Now we are subjected to the Swine Flu... "Sheeps being led to slaughter willinging......"

    April 28, 2009 at 12:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. lost

    Wow this is funny. These media outlets serve this crap and you eat it up.

    Please look at how many people die in car accidents yearly in this country and divide that by the number of days in a year.

    You think this is bad!

    Have a great drive home!

    April 28, 2009 at 13:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Anna

    Once again those of us with no health care will be forced to bear the brunt of the fear and whatever comes next. The lowest paid with no healthcare are the ones who touch food, beds, tables, etc. They are also the ones who come in contact with the most people and have the most to lose as most don't have paid sick days. Just another thing to push people farther over the brink into sinking waters.

    April 28, 2009 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Dr. Jeffrey Romoser

    OK, here's the deal. The Swine Flu is a threat. HOWEVER, it is NOT as large a threat as it is being made to be. I am an Emergency Physician and numerous times today I have had patients come to me frantically saying they are"dieing of swine flu." the fact of the matter is that they are not, and as of now, we have seen no deaths in the US linked to Swine Flu. Tamiflu and Relensa have been very effective in combatting the symptoms, but you must realize that there is relatively little any physician can do as far as eliminating the virus. It is a virus- UNABLE TO BE TREATED THROUGH ANTIBIOTICS. Please, if you are genuinely concerned about the virus, be checked. However, the US Emergency rooms are far too crowded already. If you have no legitiamate basis to visit one, please do not so we can help those who are truly ill and need medical attention.

    April 28, 2009 at 13:59 | Report abuse | Reply
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