Everyone in my household is down with the flu. There are seven of us here, and it has been a learning experience. It brings to mind visions of pandemics, Stephen King's “The Stand”, and a host of other SciFi based predictions of TEOTWAWKI. I hardly ever get sick, and when I do, it very rarely ever past a day. I've had this bug for three days now, and am now just feeling a bit better, maybe even enough to make a post to the blog.
When ever I have seen a movie, or read a novel about a virus that hits the entire planet, I never take to heart how much an effect it could have. We are very strict about washing hands, and barring people that are sick from coming into our house, in order to avoid what has happened this week, and we have learned as a result, it sometimes can not be avoided.
Virus are small little buggers that by-pass almost all safety measures, they measure smaller then 0.02 microns in size, and I have never found any filter for air, or water, that can truly deal with them. Air borne virus are the worse because you simple have no defense against them, penicillin is useless against viruses. The only defense is your natural immunity, and how well your T-Cells can reproduce anti-bodies against the infection. Passing that immunity onto others in your group is problematic in that not everyone is the same blood type.
If you happen to have a center fugue in your medical supplies, you could try to separate the immune factors from someone who isn't getting sick, from their red blood cells in order to transfuse that to a new host, but it is dangerous for a number of reasons, the least of which would be other viruses, and disease. The best bet you have is to be healthy as possible before infection, and to keep your immunization shots up to date.
This of course brings up another issue about the shots themselves. I have a rule of thumb which I apply to new immunization shots, that they must have been used on human hosts for a number of years before I allow them used on my family so that side effects are well know before use. In my opinion, testing isn't done enough these days to risk the 20% effective rate they accept the new shots on. (NOTE: the current 20% pass rate for immunization shots under the new system is very similar to the 80% success rate under the old, it's not that I do not trust the new system, it's that I don't trust the 'for-profit' pharmacies.) I also do not accept any medications only passed by the FDA in the states, Canada has much stricter rules for allowing new medication into the public usage, and I prefer to trust that more. (Mercury being a major issue)
All that being said, your still going to get sick, and it will rob you of being able to do anything.
You have many options for defense against bacteria, but viruses are something that scare the crap out of the WHO, avian influenza being near the top of the list. If two things occur with Bird Flu, that being going air born, and transmittable to humans, we are in serious trouble.
I believe that the primary reason we are sick is due to a new job my oldest son has, not that I am blaming the him. He suffers from the same fate as new teachers and nurses, your clients get you sick even if they are not. This is why washing of hands is so vital in the new age of possible pandemics. In Hong Kong they are well aware of the risks involved in over population, and high population density, people wear masks all the time when a health alert is issued, this is something that North America is going to have to be adopted by Western Culture.
On my site there are links to data maps that are updated live about virus out breaks. If you know of any other relevant map and data sources let me know.
Now, I'm going to go back to bed, open a window, cover myself in blankets, and eat chicken soup. I've been sick all week, and I'm not going to let this screw up my weekend.