The World Health Organization has raised the alert level for the Swine Flu virus from 3 to 4, just two under a pandemic. As the probable death toll in Mexico raises to 152 people, the panic starts to sink in. The fear of sickness is imminent. And our health security is at risk.
Children are being affected as schools in Mexico have closed until May 6th. The outbreak in New York even started with a school in Queens where students were infected after a spring break trip to Mexico. In San Diego, a school was shut down after a 7-year-old was found to have the disease.
Next to be affected is the economy, as stock markets fall and people reconsider travel plans all over the world.
The total possibly infected is 2,080 in eight countries.
Epidemiologists are alarmed with the flu’s ability to spread quickly from person to person. Some people have resorted to wearing masks outside to prevent infection. How does one keep their personal safety when facing an invisible threat?
At this time it is important to be on high alert for any signs of health problems. A good idea for the elderly may be an emergency button in case movement is preventing them from seeking help. Look out for severe flu symptoms that categorize this virus such as breathing trouble or very high fever.
However, officials have stressed the importance of going on with your daily life. “It’s important for children to be in school unless they’re sick,” said Jim Esterbrooks, a spokesman for the County Office of Education. “We want parents to know if their children don’t feel well, they should stay at home. If parents are anxious about their children’s condition, they should see their doctor or (seek) whatever medical care they have.”
Other safety tips from the CDC include: wash your hands. Try to stay in good general health. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. Try not touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. These small steps can combat the attack on our bodies and keep us and our children safe.