Whilst swine flu can be serious in people who are already vulnerable (elderly or young children or those already poorly) and whilst a pandemic sounds pretty serious, a pandemic might not be as bad as it sounds. After all,
a pandemic just means that a disease is common throughout a region, country or continent.
So, what happens when you get swine flu? You feel poorly, with a fever. You also get a sore throat, you feel tired, you might be off your food, sneeze somewhat and develop a cough. (Actually, that sounds pretty much like all bugs that we seem prone to!)
So, basically, not much happens to you. So is it all a media hype? Well, not exactly. But it does remind one of the bird flu scare of a couple of years back. After all, according to WHO figures, on 5 May 21 countries reported 1490 cases of bird flu infection. Only 1490 cases worldwide? Perhaps that helps put the whole matter into perspective.
What should you do? You don’t need to put your holiday plans on hold, but try to avoid any country that has a high swine flu incident rate. Such as Mexico, for example.
If you want to be careful, take a couple of face masks with you. And buy some waterless hand wash. There are some that are alcohol free. It’s possible that with current security restrictions you would not be allowed to take these liquids on a plane. If so, buy them at your destination.
Make sure you have enough travel insurance when you go on holiday. That’s a sensible precaution even if there are no pandemics allegedly sweeping the world like one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse! Just check out the APH website for a convenient and cost-effective way to obtain travel insurance.
It’s not the case that you shouldn’t have any concerns about Swine flu, but you need to keep it in perspective. Sensible, common sense steps should allow you to ensure that you reduce your risk of contracting Swine Flu.
What does the WHO recommend? “It is considered prudent for people who are ill to delay international travel and for people developing symptoms following international travel to seek medical attention, in line with guidance from national authorities. Individuals are advised to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water on a regular basis and should seek medical attention if they develop any symptoms of influenza-like illness,” explained a spokesman.
“WHO advises no restriction of regular travel or closure of borders.
“There is no risk of infection from this virus from consumption of well-cooked pork and pork products.”