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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Swine-Flu: Better Safe than Sorry

As part of my research for Zeopane, I started reading a lot about flu in general and branching off of that, reading on swine-flu - the latest killer which is slowly but steadily spreading its tentacles. Flu Vaccines is a killer-app that we are looking at for validating our technology since they are delivered transdermally and our low-cost microneedle patch will save costs significantly and also allow easier vaccination of the poorest people in the developing and under-developed countries. 

I know this post sounds like a pitch. :-) But the point of this post atleast is not that. After seeing more than 25 ads a day on TV in Hong Kong on Swine-Flu and ways to prevent it, HK and China as well have learnt their lessons from SARS. I was concerned if there's enough of an awareness in India about the disease. This is just my tiny effort to spread awareness of the symptoms and the precautions that needs to be taken. 

What are the symptoms of Swine FLU?

  • Lethargy
  • High fever (102 degrees+) along with chills, aches and pains
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy nose
  • Nausea and/ or diarrhoea
  • Fatigue

How do you prevent its spread and / or how do you stop yourself from being infected?

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Avoid visiting very crowded public places.
  • Avoid touching the mouth, nose or eyes, which are primary modes of transmission.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue -- dispose it off and wash your hands immediately
  • Avoid close contact with sick people, as far as possible.
  • If you get sick, stay at home.
  • Be well hydrated with fluids.
  • Eat a nutritious diet and build up your immune system. 
It's easy to say "Oh, this is a Mexican/SE Asian phenomenon". But with all the Air Travel that takes place these days (especially between India and SE Asia) and with the near 100% circulation of the air within a flight, it's a very strong possibility that if you don't take the said precautions, it could reach India. Although I do admire the fact that India has been very cautious in the airports, you never know when this killer can break through.

And knowing what happened in China with SARS (repeated denials for over 4 months) just to ensure the transfer of power happened smoothly in March 2003, I won't be surprised if Mexico's current claims that Swine-Flu is under control (especially after several governments including China started blocking people and products from Mexico) is a total or partial lie. So, please do take your precautions. 

Better to be safe than Sorry!!! And do spread the word around by sharing  these details with friends and relatives.

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