Health experts worldwide are trying to keep up with the latest developments in the Swine Flu pandemic. It's difficult, because the facts keep changing. The latest news is generally good.
It appears the Swine Flu vaccine will be ready earlier than previously thought. It is expected to be available to the public the first week of October. Previous predictions were for mid-October. The vaccine will likely only need to be given in one dose to most people. Earlier, the estimates were that everyone would need two doses. Also, it looks like the vaccine is a good match for the virus that is currently circulating.
That means the vaccine has a good chance of working. Since vaccine manufacturers began making the Swine Flu vaccine months ago, they used the strain that was circulating at that time. There were concerns that the virus would change, or mutate, and be resistant to the Swine Flu vaccine being manufactured, but fortunately that does not appear to be the case. The strain has remained the same as when manufacturers began making the vaccine.
According to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, just about all cases of influenza that are circulating right now are Swine Flu. That means if someone has the flu, it's probably the Swine Flu. Health officials are treating all flu cases as Swine Flu cases.
Right now influenza is widespread and more prevalent than what is normal for this time of year. But according to the CDC, right now the Swine Flu is overall, mild.
People experiencing flu-like symptoms are urged to stay home from work or school and treat the symptoms like they have in past years with the seasonal flu.
HOWEVER, PEOPLE IN HIGH RISK GROUPS WHO EXPERIENCE FLU-LIKE SYMPTOMS SHOULD SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY. This includes the very young, the very old and people with medical conditions such as asthma or diabetes.
People are being urged to get the seasonal flu shot, which is available now, in addition to the Swine Flu shot, which will be available in October. One does not protect against the other.
It's been said hundreds of times before, but bears repeating: the best way to protect yourself from the flu is by good hygiene! So wash those hands often and use hand sanitizer. Get plenty of sleep and eat lots of fresh fresh fruits and veggies. Strengthen your immune system by lowering your stress level. This can be achieved with exercise, thinking positively and PRAYING.