What people are forgetting is that there are actually two types of H1N1 viruses on record. My own in-laws are currently suffering from the 'novel' version of these viruses (current) as I write this, and we are heading straight for them. As we get ready to cross Canada in the next 25 days we will be meeting and coming into contact with with strangers from Vancouver, British Columbia to Toronto, Ontario. It is during this time that the flu season will be at it's highest point in the year, and this year may prove to be the most proficient flu season to date.
The Prepper's Network has a chat room (link in my menu on the right) which is visited by many of us preppers/survivalists including a friend of mine (MapDude in the chat) who runs an online map of the H1N1 virus, as well as several other constantly updated data maps (some of which are in my data menu on the left), all of there are constantly updated by him while he watches 12 monitors of incoming feeds and news casts. Trust me when I say that the Prepper's Network is becoming very well informed about all sorts of threats, not just information about the H1N1 virus, is largely due to him. (Another special note about our Prepper's Ham Radio Network, it is growing just as fast. And which another regular chatter 'trixter' is creating a West Coast hub.)
The question that immediately comes to mind is should we get vaccinated for the virus? What are the risks involved with the vaccine, and what are the risks involved in not taking the vaccine against the H1N1? All these question bring to mind more questions about how the vaccine is made, what are the ingredients in the H1N1 vaccine, who is the manufacturer, what does the department of health really say. Is Swine Flu really deserving of the news hype it is receiving?
This all started with an influenza type A virus (Sub Type H1N1) that was of swine-origin in April (2009). The outbreak started in Mexico as a endemic and giving the nick name Swine Flu (Mexican flu in the Netherlands), this flu raised alarms immediately after it was identified and found to contain pieces of four other viruses. The four viruses are one human flu, one bird flu, and two swine flues. It is this mix that raised the alarm, not the virus itself, because it is almost the same mix as the 1918 Spanish flu, but this isn't the first time this has happened since 1918. In 1947 there was a pseudo-pandemic, as well as 1976, and the 1977 Russian flu, all caused by the H1N1 subtype.
Even after Mexico closed all public and private events, the virus still spread worldwide. The W.H.O. declared the outbreak to be a pandemic in June (2009). This virus from Mexico is not a threat to human life unless you suffer from asthma, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, or a weakened immune system. If you also suffer from a secondary infection such as bacterial pneumonia, you might be at risk for further problems. But there are other versions of this same virus running around the globe that are a concern.
“Like other influenza viruses, novel H1N1 influenza is spread by coughing, sneezing, or touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the nose or mouth. Symptoms, which last up to a week, are similar to those of seasonal flu, and can include fever, sneezing, sore throat, cough (typically a dry cough),headache, and muscle or joint pains. To avoid spreading the infection, the CDC recommended that those with symptoms stay home from school, work, and crowded settings; wearing facial masks was reported to be of limited benefit.” - Wikipedia (2009 flu pandemic)
There are several types of vaccines being used on the Swine Flu, one is a nasal inhaler, another that has been around for year is called Tamilfu, and yet another set of vaccine are flu shots.
The FluMist has raised some concerns because Doctors in Colorado are reporting that it might actually pass on live versions of the virus itself. Although there are few cases of users of Tamiflu with bad results, the worse news is that the Swine Flu is likely to become resistant to the oral pills, which is a staple among Preppers/Survivalists in their Med Kits against viruses being fairly easy to get via a veterinarian as a form of dog medicine.
Regardless of the method, the biggest questions I have are how the vaccines are made. First off, they were rushed into producing a large batch of the vaccine, second of all, because it is beyond the means of most countries to produce the amount of vaccines needed, there is a lot of cross border supplies happening, and I am sure that standards which are different between countries for approval of drugs, and medicine are being ignored. Which raises the question, is there mercury in that syringe?
Risk managers have a complex job of assessing the odds of one risk versus another, as a parent I find myself in the same situation. There are risks that even thou Canada's standard is likely safe for a vaccine in general this situation may be different on a lot of fronts. There is also the risk that not taking the vaccine may cause problems not related to health issues, (insert rant about big brother here). I worry about my youngest son, and my in-laws that although the virus itself is not likely to be deadly on it's own there are exceptions. And I am not the only one concerned about the final results, or the risks, of the vaccine trials, many different results are being reported by the professionals who are there to guard the public trust.
Because we are leaving BC in the heart of this issue, and because we have the option to avoid the mass packed cities during this time, I think we will skip it.
See you on the other side.