Swine Flu

In Mexico City, the streets were quiet on April 26, the soccer team played to ok empty stadium and the cardinal gave Mass in a shuttered cathedral, according to the Associated Press (AP). The reason why Mexico City was so quiet is the residents of the capital locked themselves in amidst fears of a new swine flu outbreak.

The April 27 version of AP’s World Briefly put the number of suspected deaths close to 90 while also reporting that the US, Canada, and New Zealand “raced” to keep people from hysteria as well as to make sure that swine flu does not become a global pandemic.

Locally in Cibolo, just outside of San Antonio, closed classes for the week of April 27-May 1 at Byron Steele High School, after two high school students were diagnosed with the illness. According again to the AP, the school has been sanitized and the students, as well as the 10-year old who was also diagnosed with the illness, have recovered.

According to UTSA Today, UTSA officials are monitoring the situation and UTSA President Richard Romo is working with UTSA’s own Emergency Response Team to coordinate any updates that might impact UTSA.

“At this time, it is important that all of us keep informed with current information regarding the outbreak of swine flu,” Romo said. “Our primary concern is to keep our campuses safe for our students, faculty, staff and visitors.”

The UTSA Today article emphasized that right now there is no need for panic, and offers general steps to prevent yourself from getting the flu, like washing your hands regularly, covering your mouth when you sneeze and get plenty of rest. The article also emphasizes that you should go to the doctor if you exhibit “flu-like symptoms”. Finally, the article advises not traveling to Mexico as of right now.

According the AP (on April 26) and UTSA Today (on April 27) only two cases have been reported overall in Texas, and both have not been severe. However, Governor Rick Perry asked that Texas receive 850,000 more courses of antiviral medication as a precaution. Texas already has 840,000 courses of antiviral medication from legislation passed in 2007.

The Center of Disease Control’s (CDC) Web site (www.cdc.gov) contains many useful facts about the Swine Flu virus. On the Web site, the CDC said that while swine flu generally is not caught by humans with little to no contact with pigs, there have been cases of humans getting the disease from other humans.

The reason why this disease is currently hard to understand also has to do with the nature of influenza as a whole. Swine flu virus “change constantly”, according the CDC. The CDC Web site also emphasizes the best cure being prevention in healthy hygenie and habits.

For more information on the swine flu and swine flu outbreaks, go to the CDC’s Web site at www.cdc.gov

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