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Global Concern Over Swine Flu

No Cases of Swine Influenza Reported in Indonesia or the Rest of Southeast Asia.

(5/4/2009) Fears of a potential global pandemic loom as new cases of Swine Influenza (H1N1) are now suspected in diverse geographical locations including Mexico, U.S.A., Canada, Spain and New Zealand. A unique form of influenza, the swine variety is described by health experts as containing strains of swine, bird and human influenza viruses.

Symptom resemble typical cases of the flu with patients complaining of fever, coughing, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. In some cases diarrhea and vomiting are also presented symptoms.

Unlike most influenza outbreaks which place the very young and elderly at particular risk, the current outbreak of swine influenza is most insidious among young adults. As of Monday, April 27, 2009, CNN reports 81 deaths have resulted from the disease, all in Mexico.

The disease has brought Mexico’s capital to a standstill. Schools and universities have suspended courses, public gathetings cancelled and Sunday masses in the strongly Catholic city were devoid of worshippers over the weekend.

The U.S. government has declared a public health emergency with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) warning the U.S. to expect more, potentially severe cases. The CDC has activated is Emergency Operations Center while the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern.”

The WHO is not, however, recommending any restrictions on trade or travel in connection with the outbreak.

Several countries have issued travel warnings cautioning against travel to the United States.

In this age of international air travel, governments world-wide have responded by setting up screening stations to help prevent the spread of the disease. Rehearsed and ready as a the result of the SARs scare of recent years, health officials in Asia have both the knowledge and equipment to employ. In Indonesia, public health teams have been deployed to international airports armed with thermal screeners and the power to send passengers suspected of being infected with the disease to special isolation epidemic wards at nearby hospitals.

As of Monday, April 27, 2009, there have been no swine flu cases reported in Indonesia or in other locations in Southeast Asia.

Precautions Recommended

In oder to halt the spread of Swine Flu people are recommended to:

• 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 hands cleaners are also effective.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

• Avoid close contact with sick people. Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.

• If you become sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

www.balidiscovery.com will provide regular Swine Influenza Updates via its home page.