Atlanta, how worried are you about the swine flu?

By Joy Johnston

Over the weekend, health officials became increasingly concerned about widespread outbreaks of the swine flu in various parts of the world. The hardest hit area so far appears to be Mexico City but after a confirmed outbreak in New York City, U.S. officials have declared a public health emergency.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the declaration was standard operating procedure and that the public should think of it as a “declaration of emergency preparedness.” It appears so far that the strain of the swine flu impacting the U.S. is milder than the type that has killed dozens in Mexico.

It’s also important to note that the swine flu is usually very treatable, though with like any flu strain, symptoms can range fom mild to severe.

(Just for the record, despite the name, you cannot get swine flu from consuming pork products. While there have been swine flu outbreaks in farm environments where it spreads from pigs to humans, just like with other strains of the flu, most people contract it through close contact with an infected person who is coughing or sneezing.)

How worried are you about the swine flu coming to Georgia? How will you take extra precautions to avoid it or do you think this will end up being another false alarm like the bird flu panic from a few years ago? Or will you?

40 comments Add your comment

John

April 27th, 2009
12:17 pm

I’m sick since Saturday… Maybe I have it. Georgia State student.

Amoz

April 27th, 2009
12:20 pm

Going to Asia May 30th. Should I be concerned?

Karmann

April 27th, 2009
12:33 pm

My best friend of 21 years left for Cancun Saturday morning. I am worried about her. I hate to say this and I know how it sounds but I won’t be going around her for a couple of weeks when she get’s back. If I was her, I would come home. But I know her and I’m sure she’s sitting on the Beach drinking her Corona and not worrying about it! For the comment from John; Maybe you need to go get tested & treated. I wouldn’t take any chances.

Karmann

April 27th, 2009
12:35 pm

Amoz,

May 30th is a month away. I wouldn’t worry. We will know alot more by then.

Brainstorm

April 27th, 2009
12:53 pm

I am not worried, but most people tend to panic when things like this come along. Remember Y2K and the Alar threat, just to name two?

Laura

April 27th, 2009
2:02 pm

My family and I get our flu shots every year and we see the doctor if we are sick. Swine flu responds very well to anti-viral meds but you have to get them within the first 48 hours. If there is an outbreak we should quarantine. I am not worried about this but I am glad we got our shots. My doc says the shot will provide some protection. Also, this looks like a pretty weak strain that is hitting the US. Be cautious, take care of yourself, but don’t panic.

just me

April 27th, 2009
2:48 pm

Don’t forget to wash your hands!

Marsha

April 27th, 2009
3:25 pm

My poor mother gets panicked everytime this type of thing is reported. She is concerned we may have to cancel our trip to New York the end of May because she is convinced this one will go pandemic! She’s 81, so I cut her some slack. Everyone just needs to remain level-headed, take your vitamins, wash your hands and keep away from those displaying any flu-like symptoms. I will admit, videos I saw earlier of Mexico cities looked pretty dismal with no one on the streets.

Nan

April 27th, 2009
3:41 pm

Less than 100 known cases in this country, most of them mild, out of a population of over 300 million people? I’m not worried at all.

Pierce Randall

April 27th, 2009
3:48 pm

I bet as soon as someone in the U.S. dies from this, or at least if the death toll here is in the low 10’s, we’ll have mandatory vaccinations. Huh. All there is to do is hope for the best–for those in this country and elsewhere.

Amoz, Asian might worry about you as this is starting in the U.S. and Mexico, not the other way around–actually, maybe that’s what you’re asking. I dunno, hopefully this will fizzle out and turn out to be less of a big deal than the world fears, but just keep an eye out.

Mama Cass

April 27th, 2009
4:11 pm

“I bet as soon as someone in the U.S. dies from this, or at least if the death toll here is in the low 10’s, we’ll have mandatory vaccinations. Huh.”

Um, vaccinated with what, exactly? THERE IS NO VACCINE. They’ve never seen this particular virus before. Any vaccine developed for this new virus will take six months to manufacture.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17031-us-taking-action-to-minimise-swine-flu-impact.html

“Besser said officials were already taking preliminary steps toward manufacturing a vaccine against the influenza strain responsible for swine flu. There is currently no vaccine that protects against it.

“We’ve created that seed stock, we’ve identified that virus, and discussions are underway so that should we decide to work on manufacturing a vaccine, we can work towards that goal very quickly,” Besser said.

This could mean incorporating a swine flu vaccine into the annual seasonal flu vaccine already in production, he said.”

The seasonal flu vaccine comes out in October, that is the EARLIEST that a vaccine will be available for this thing.

To the person who says that they will be avoiding their friend when she returns from Mexico: you are very smart. Stay away for about two weeks, which is how long it takes for symptoms to develop. Call her on the phone to say welcome back!

Crystal

April 27th, 2009
4:45 pm

Why are we still letting flights land here from Mexico? If we know this is coming from Mexico, we should leave it there. Close the borders now.

Karmann

April 27th, 2009
5:13 pm

Mama Cass,

Well, I’m glad someone didn’t think it was snobby of me to say I would stay away from my friend who is currently in Cancun. I don’t know how my friend will take it but she’ll get over it. I will be calling her, just not seeing her. I just can’t chance it. One question…..Does anyone know if she will have a hard time getting back to the US?

Thanks!

Paolo

April 27th, 2009
6:37 pm

About .000006% of the U.S. population has contracted this “raging epidemic”…obviously that calls for mass hysteria all over the country, right?

Larry

April 27th, 2009
7:13 pm

I think this was done intentional somehow…

art

April 27th, 2009
9:16 pm

It’s Obama’s fault. He’s an idiot. Why hold a press conference to say “Don’t be alarmed?” The fact that he held a press conference about it is enough to create mass hysteria.

CD

April 27th, 2009
9:34 pm

I hate shots, and I definitely do not trust new and experimental shots – which will be definitely offered door to door in the next year. I respect people who run out and get vaxed, but I wish they’d in turn respect those who’d rather wear face masks, self quarantine, and emergency home school who don’t believe in miracle cures. There’s no religious exemption to vaccination during a health emergency – only a doctor’s affidavit. What doctor’s going to sign an affidavit? They’re more worried about their medical license and believe EVERYTHING they read in a book without thinking of who wrote the book and why. Why does a doctor get to say what I can do with my body instead of me taking my own personal responsibility and reading my own medical materials and considering the risks and benefits of the 2 week old vaccine myself (why would a doctor know any more than me if the vaccine’s new and experimental? A doctor’s just more indoctrinated). I wish there was a religious exemption or a self quarantine exemption to the health emergency vaccination law. Last time I checked, my body’s not owned by the crown.

O.C.G.A. 31-12-3
(a) The department and all county boards of health are empowered to require, by appropriate rules and regulations, persons located within their respective jurisdictions to submit to vaccination against contagious or infectious disease where the particular disease may occur, whether or not the disease may be an active threat. The department may, in addition, require such other measures to prevent the conveyance of infectious matter from infected persons to other persons as may be necessary and appropriate. The department shall promulgate appropriate rules and regulations for the implementation of the provisions for the Code section in the case of a declaration of a public health emergency and shall include provisions permitting consideration of the opinion of a person’s personal physician as to whether the vaccination is medically appropriate or advisable for such person.

SD

April 27th, 2009
10:48 pm

Art: You are trying to blame this on Obama? LOL Given all the media coverage and developing hysteria, getting on television and addressing these concerns was the responsible thing for him to do.

GG

April 28th, 2009
1:25 pm

My 3 year old daughter is home with my husband sick today. Although her her fever is not that high, I am very concerned. I will see how it plays out and take her to the dr for screening if it gets any worse. The daycare that I take her to, has a bunch of Mexicans working there, I am hoping they did not contract anything from their relatives and bring it to the daycare center.

LMS

April 28th, 2009
2:04 pm

GG: Unless they have been to Mexico in the last two months (which most of them don’t go back and forth on a regular basis as it costs too much especially in this day, age and economy), then you have nothing to worry about with your daughter. It’s probably just a cold or allergies.

LMS

April 28th, 2009
2:05 pm

Amen SD! I couldn’t agree with you more.

CL

April 29th, 2009
8:09 am

I was on a cruise last week and was in Cozumel on Thursday but I cannot find anywhere about any cases from Cozumel? Has anyone else?

Troupcounty

April 29th, 2009
5:54 pm

Normally, 36,000 people die from the flu each year in the US. Just an interesting tidbit. In 1918, St. Louis shut down schools, theatres, outdoor festivals, etc, Philadelphia did not. Very impressive data suggests shutting down schools, etc works wonder. Hopefully, it won’t get to that point.

Blaze

April 29th, 2009
8:25 pm

The vaccine in deadly! Go to infowars.com for the truth!

Eric

April 30th, 2009
9:22 am

We get sick and die while O’Bumble fiddles. This unbelievably weak response by the Obamanation will make Katrina look like a week at the beach.. Change.. from bad.. to worse..

Georgia Native

April 30th, 2009
10:04 am

Eric, don’t be an idiot. You cannot compare the two. Over 1,800 people died in Hurricane Katrina (not including the 705 that are still listed as “missing”) and 1 person (that was not even an American citizen, but was visiting here from Mexico where they contracted the disease) has died here. Plus Bush & Brown completely botched the whole response. Most people (with the exception of people like you who obviously voted for McCain and who is such a sore loser) believe that President Obama and his administration are doing at the very least a very good job of handling this. But then again you’re probably the type of person that would still find something negative to say about Obama even if killed Osama Bin Laden himself. Get over your petty vindictiveness.

itsme

April 30th, 2009
10:38 am

Wash your hands. Keep your hands away from your face. Shield coughs and sneezes in your elbow. Avoid sick people. This should get you through the Swine Panic, as well as any other contagious disease. Just good practice.

LMS

April 30th, 2009
10:44 am

A question for Eric: what exactly do you propose that President Obama, his administration, the CDC, the WHO, etc do that you don’t think they haven’t done already? I am curious to know what you think they have failed to do because from what I can tell they have done everything in their power already and are continuing to do it.

I was just over at CNN’s website and they did a survey (a report card actually) of his first 100 days and the people they surveyed gave him a grade of B+ on his handling of the swine flu outbreak.

The Voice

April 30th, 2009
10:56 am

JEEEEEZZZZZ…just how many of you folks work at the CDC, are MDs, are RNs or work in infection control. I bet few if any. But here you are on a blog spouting your uneducated opinion. CD…yes the gov can force you to be vaccinated..IF THERE WERE A VACCINE…WHICH THERE ISN’T. So you folks just go ahead…scare the hell out of each other but try to remember…IT IS JUST THE FLU, JUST LIKE WE HAVE EVERY YEAR, JUST A DIFFERNET STRAIN AND IS PROBABLY WEAKER THAN THE ONES WE HAVE DELT WITH IN THE PAST…..

lukhg

April 30th, 2009
10:57 am

we should be more woried about the swine running the government than the flu

bob

April 30th, 2009
10:59 am

when will someone tell the truth and acknowledge that this is the fault of george bush

Allyana

April 30th, 2009
11:02 am

As usual, the press is creating a panic. At any given point in time, X number of people have the flu. I don’t see as much press about women and children being raped and murdered around the world, and more suffer from that than are now suffering from the flu.

sara

April 30th, 2009
11:14 am

just wondering.. how did george bush get invloved in this??
genius

Wanda

April 30th, 2009
11:35 am

I don’t think we can blame Bush or Obama for this one. Please don’t make swine flu political.

Alma

April 30th, 2009
12:29 pm

My grandson is in middle school and was thrown out of school today for wearing a surgical mask that his mother insisted he wear to protect himself after reading the CDC’s announcement that deaths are expected in Georgia from the swine flu. Not only did the school require that she take him home for wearing the mask (calling it a “distraction”), the personnel in the school office laughed at him and ridiculed him for wearing it, embarrassing him in front of teachers and classmates. This morning the CDC confirmed a case of swine flu in Georgia–the very day my grandson is thrown out of school for wearing a mask.

Shannon

April 30th, 2009
3:56 pm

Very true, Wanda, very true! Neither our past President or our current President is to blame for this. And it should be said as a reminder that this started in Mexico, anyways and not in the U.S.

SG

May 1st, 2009
8:18 pm

Hey Bob, shut the hell up. This isn’t a political issue at all, and your boy Obama, with the help of the Congress, now has every single American owing the government 37k….even the unborn, so get off your soapbox already. The fact is this. Only the weak will die from it, and with proper treatment, it can be knocked out with the proper meds. But like most recent events, it’s blown out of proportion by the media. 36,000 people die from influenza yearly….just imagine is the US had socialized medicine when this broke out….we’d be screwed.

SG

May 1st, 2009
8:23 pm

is=if…sorry for the typo. Why on Earth are you people sending your kids and grandkids to school with masks on? Kids and adults catch the flu more often by not washing their hands. You don’t have to be OCD about it, but try and use some common sense. :)

Goliath

May 2nd, 2009
2:19 am

To everyone that is freaking out: Listen, I’m not going to sit here and bash on all the people that are getting concerned about the new strain of the flu. Its human nature to be cautious when something happens we don’t quite understand. Yes, the flu sucks, and this new strain just means that your body is more prone to catch it. The majority of the time you get sick, you feel like !@#%, and you take the medicine in between.After a couple of days of your anti-bodies kicking the crap out of the virus, you get better. Sometimes, (generally in elderly folk, and newborns) it gets a little worse, and if the proper care isn’t taken, death could be a serious possibility. But you have to understand something, things like that happen all the time. Its a sad fact in the pages of history. But people are not dying off left and right from this, they are simply getting sick. In a couple of days, (God forbid someone dies, because like I said, it is a possibility) when the majority of the so called “outbreak” patients are returned to their homes, feeling better and ready to return to their every day lives, I hope everyone that freaked out just sits back and laughs, and thinks to themselves “Well, that wasn’t so bad. I should be more level-headed next time.”

But hey, if I’m wrong…

RUNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!

Valeria Romero

May 24th, 2009
8:49 pm

i’m traveling to Atlnata next week and i want to know if there is any posibility of the swine flu there, because i’ve been hearing on tv that they just found new cases there…could i have some information about it, otherwise i plan to cancel my trip
thanks