Hospitals Restricting Visitors Due to Swine Flu

Hospitals around the country are beginning to restrict visitors due to concerns they may bring swine flu with them.

Many people, even those who get flu shots for other forms of flu, seem resistant to the idea of taking the swine flu vaccine.

Yesterday, stuck on a plane that sat on the runway for over an hour, I couldn't help but wonder if I was being subjected to someone else's flu germs. I wondered what measures airlines would take during the next few months to protect passengers from each other. Will we all be flying with facemasks? Or will airlines require certification that passengers are free of flu symptoms before allowing them to board?

I pretty much stopped flying in early 2008, due to the time and hassle involved with security. I'm just not willing to arrive at an airport two hours before departure, stand in line and then sit cramped among strangers for hours, unless there's a really good reason.

I have more concerns about catching something on an airplane than I do visitng a jail. I've already gotten a flu shot and will also get the swine flu shot. But what about those who resist? Is it fair to put restrictions on their public movements? Or is it necessary for the greater good?

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    Saturday night, I was preparing for (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 03:50:52 PM EST
    a family birthday gathering on Sunday, and as I walked out of the kitchen, I slipped on something, and my left foot rotated inside the clog-like shoe I was wearing and sort of folded, I guess, as I came crashing to the floor.

    I've not been able to put much real weight on it, and it is now bruised all down the outside edge and across the instep in a line - sort of - with my third toe in from the outside.  Have been doing ice and elevation, and starting last night, staying off it as much as possible (as much as people tried to help with the birthday thing, I just could not seem to stay off my feet!).

    I called the orthopaedic doc today, and I have an appointment for tomorrow; as I explained to the secretary, I could have just gone to the ER or the local free-standing 24 hr clinic for an x-ray, but I really didn't want to be sitting with all the people who think they have the flu...

    My brother and his family were supposed to be coming to the party, but when my sister-in-law called - hacking and hoarse and sounding like death - and said my brother wasn't coming because he was home throwing up, I told her that as much as I appreciated the effort she was making to come over, I would prefer that she and my niece (whose best friend just got over H1N1) - just stay home.  I hope she wasn't offended, but I certainly didn't want my 79 yr old mother exposed to their cornucopia of germs/virus.  And from the looks on everyone's faces as they listened to my end of the conversation, no one else wanted what they have, either!

    Paranoia?  Nah - I call it "being careful" - and I make no apologies for it.

    ouch (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 04:26:04 PM EST
    I hope you feel better soon. And get it x-rayed. My friend's mother fell in her rose garden last week when it snowed and thought she turned her ankle. When she got to the ER, they found she had broken her leg and had to have surgery and a bunch of pins put in. Since her wrist is weak, she can't use crutches and is now in a wheelchair, probably for weeks.

    Again, sorry you hurt and hope you are better soon.


    Thanks - I'm really hoping (none / 0) (#47)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 07:43:32 PM EST
    nothing's broken, but I'll get an x-ray tomorrow, so will know for sure.

    I've pretty much been off my feet all day and am still doing a cold pack off and on, which helps.  

    It's very achy and the worst part is that I can't really sleep in the positions I like best, and that's made for a couple of restless nights.


    Do you have crutches? Need to stay off (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 04:26:40 PM EST
    that foot.

    Whether you broke (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by jen on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 06:55:04 PM EST
    something or not, see if you can find arnica ointment at a local health food store. Really helps with bruises, sprains, and trauma. There's arnica you can take orally, too, but the ointment is more acceptable to most people who aren't familiar with homeopathy. Hope you heal fast!

    I think it was wise to discourage the sick family members from coming over! It's crazy to me that we even have to do that!


    I've heard good things about arnica, (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 07:46:24 PM EST
    so will check it out.

    I spoke to my brother today, and he said my sister-in-law understood why we wanted her to stay home; what I don't get is why she thought it would be a good idea to expose everyone to whatever she has, whatever my niece is also percolating, and whatever ick my brother just started with.

    I feel like we dodged a bullet - if she hadn't called to say she was on her way over, she would have just arrived on schedule, and then it would have been really awkward.


    I always keep a tube handy (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by nycstray on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 08:11:28 PM EST
    It can really cut down on deep bruising etc when applied right away. Also good when you over extend your muscles. First thing I grabbed when I got back from the farm/potato planting, lol!~

    I hope your foot recovers fully and soon (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 10:26:05 PM EST
    We are sensitive in this house to foot injury stories lately :)  Can't imagine why.  I winced reading your account.

    Downside of our wedding reception (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Cream City on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 10:34:06 PM EST
    Saturday for my son and daughter-in-law is that a cousin came who now is being tested for swine flu (and her dad is a physician who diagnosed it as possible, so that may make it probable).  It is not fun to sit here wondering if we exposed dozens of people, many of them with high-risk conditions. as many of them are very elderly.  The elderly are less likely to catch the flu -- but if they do, those with high-risk conditions are a concern.

    Of course, my last birthday put me among the elders, I guess -- and i have a high-risk condition.  But thank heavens that 98-year-old grandmother of the groom was not feeling up to the reception, as she is so frail that it would be a major worry if she got the swine flu.

    Ah well, a good time was had by all, at least until we had to send the warning today. . . .


    Flu Shots (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Beandog9 on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 04:17:47 PM EST
    I have no opposition to flu shots, though the last time I got one, in 1996, was also the last year I caught the flu! (And I know I just probably got struck down by a different strain than was included in the shot.) I'm only holding off because I know there are only a limited number of inoculations available, so I want to make sure that the most vulnerable people get first dibs. My masseuse is still trying to find somewhere that has shots left and clearly she's more exposed to risk than me, since I work at home.

    I thank you! (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Jen M on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 04:25:36 PM EST
    I am waiting too, not being at the top of the list.

    Me too (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 10:26:47 PM EST
    Restrict movements? (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Fabian on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 04:32:21 PM EST
    As long as sick people are allowed into hospitals for the purpose of being treated, I have no problem with keeping mere visitors out.  Both adult and children's hospitals view children as walking disease vectors.  And adults?  Not as bad as children, but the H1N1 is apparently highly contagious.  Best to keep that cardiac patient or chemo patient protected against unnecessary risks.

    As for airplane passengers - I expect that anyone truly concerned would wear a mask and carry sanitizer and wipes to keep themselves safe.  

    Jeralyn - why are you so concerned about airplane passengers and not about bus and train passengers?  

    I don't travel by train or bus (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 06:57:23 PM EST
    I was on a plane yesterday and that's why it occurred to me.

    Air travelers are the elite minority. (none / 0) (#44)
    by Fabian on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 07:08:13 PM EST
    More people spend many hours on mass transit every week.  In total hours shared on a communal vehicle, air travel definitely has a minority share.

    I'd think you'd be more worried about prisons.  That isn't short term confinement, but long term confinement with little chance of "opting out" of the communal experience.


    Nope. The closed-air systems (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Cream City on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 10:36:23 PM EST
    of air flight are the problem.  Poor ventilation.  By comparison (I read about this), the constant opening and closing of bus doors and train doors between compartments do a better job of ventilation.

    I hate flying with Joshua from (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 10:40:57 PM EST
    San Antonio after he's had a back surgery.  I feel much better driving, and even though it takes longer to get home I can make him more comfortable on the trip.  It is creepy being sealed into a cabin during bug season.

    I wonder how crowded subways are? (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by nycstray on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 10:52:05 PM EST
    We don't have a lot of travel between cars and now that the system is air conditioned, the windows are rarely open. In the winter, you're packed in even tighter with all the heavy coats. Only major stops get any significant air flow from open doors.

    My main plan for avoiding the flu is avoiding the subway during peak hours, lol!~


    Flying is painful. (none / 0) (#49)
    by ChiTownDenny on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 07:57:33 PM EST
    I missed a flight to San Diego from Chicago because I arrived ONLY 45 minutes before take-off.  I now arrive at least 1 hour before take-off for domestic and 2 hours before for international, buying the obligatory $10 beer or two to kill time (and time, and time, and...).

    The Shrine Hospital wasn't allowing (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 10:32:12 PM EST
    any visitors on the floors who weren't necessary immediate family either in Greenville. And no tours of the second floor where they usually keep all the fun kid stuff and like to show off to everyone.  The clinic area we stayed in all day long and moved into different areas like radiology was open to the public but you were asked if you or anyone you lived with had displayed flu symptoms in the last seven days. I don't know what would have happened if you answered yes. But nobody was freely going to or from any place where anyone was attempting to recover from something.

    i have read face masks are useless (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 04:44:16 PM EST
    against flu.

    Full mask respirator? (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Fabian on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 04:45:38 PM EST
    A hajib and face veil?

    Did you hear This American Life on (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 05:06:38 PM EST
    public radio this week?  All about pet insurance.  A hedgehog with a possible brain injury was totally encompassed in mask to admins. general anesthetic. Now the hedgehog is on anti-psychotic medicine, which insurance does not cover. As the interview sd., how do you know the hedgehog is psychotic?

    Oh pets...that's pretty funny (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by lilburro on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 05:20:09 PM EST
    I know someone who put their gerbil through an experimental hysterectomy though.  One of the craziest pet stories I've ever heard.

    When you register your puppy with the AKC (none / 0) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 10:44:32 PM EST
    I think it comes with a trial 30 days of pet insurance.  I've never taken it seriously, but now that I think about it I bet parvo is excluded.

    The Sham Chow is superior (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 10:41:44 PM EST
    Your H1N1 & generic flu update. (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by Fabian on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 04:44:09 PM EST
    The current flu is almost all H1N1.  This virus is considered "widespread" in almost every state.  Unfortunately, this means that the vaccine is coming available after the fact for many.  If the first wave missed you, you should get the H1N1 vaccine if you want.

    The seasonal flu wave has not yet hit.  This means you should still get the seasonal vaccine if you want and haven't already.  It also means that people shouldn't relax after the H1N1 wave passes - there's still more flu coming.  Keep up the hand washing and other precautions.

    H1N1 is apparently highly contagious, so stay away from sick people and don't assume anyone who appears healthy is.  People like me tend to be fairly asymptomatic when we get influenza infections.  Practice your air kisses!

    Good job! n/t (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by oldpro on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 04:57:22 PM EST
    I haven't gotten (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by lilburro on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 05:12:06 PM EST
    the flu shot, seasonal or H1N1.  If you are young and healthy, according to my doctor, the risk of getting the untested H1N1 shot outweighs the risk of the flu.  Even my doctor isn't going to get it, although she obviously has some occupational risk factors.

    So I suppose you can conclude my doctor is a knucklehead, or the H1N1 shot is not all that if you are healthy...everyone needs to make their own choices I guess!

    Yes... (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 05:18:49 PM EST
    and no handful of people, I don't care if they're the most brilliant handful on the planet, should make these decisions for millions.

    Agree (none / 0) (#45)
    by Lora on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 07:15:33 PM EST
    OK, I conclude your doctor is a knucklehead (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by FreakyBeaky on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 12:51:45 AM EST
    Word to your doc - H1N1 hits the young and healthy unusually hard.  That's one of the weird things about it - fatal to the young and healthy at an unusually high frequency.  In terms of hospitalization rates, we're about normal for 65-plus and off the chart for this time of year in 0-4, 5-17 (worst), and 18-49 (second worst).    

    Why CDC says this year's flu season is "very sobering"


    Pneumonia shot (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by polizeros on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 06:14:25 PM EST
    Many of the problems and complications of swine flu are due to pneumonia. My wife and I recently got a standard pneumonia vaccination which protects against 27 common strains.

    That's an excellent precaution. (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Fabian on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 06:23:49 PM EST
    Most of the usual high risk groups for seasonal flu should get the pneumonia vaccine as well.  Bacterial pneumonia is a common complication of flu and too often a lethal one.

    Every 7 years now is all (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Cream City on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 10:38:30 PM EST
    that is needed.  I started getting it when it first came out, after yearly bouts of pneumonia, and I have not had pneumonia or bronchitis or any severe respiratory illnesses again.  It changed my life!

    Good advice -- good for you.


    Airlines will take no measures (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by reslez on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 06:26:06 PM EST
    to protect passengers. They don't even decontaminate their water. (Yum, e. coli in my coffee. No, they don't heat it enough to kill off the bacteria.) If they did institute anti-flu measures I bet it would be part of a new fee charged to people who want to sit in the "flu free" part of the plane. But the same air circulates throughout.

    I hate, hate, hate, hate flying. I've been on my share of planes. I was considering going on vacation this year but as I'd have to fly to the destination I decided against it. That's right: the tour company, hotel, restaurants, destination all lost money simply because I do not want to put up with the hassle and degradation of flying during the little time off my employer gives me. Half the time their planes are disgusting (crusted with dirt and God knows what else) and -- honest to God -- the planes stink of refuse and worse. Forget about flying first class because it's the same exact experience in a larger chair.

    Drive whenever possible. Don't give any money to the airlines if you can possibly help it. Did you see they added another fee to people flying around the holidays? Heaven forbid they raise ticket prices -- no, they have to backdoor you with yet another fee instead.

    yeah, i know, but... (none / 0) (#39)
    by Dadler on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 06:51:34 PM EST
    ...i can't help thinking that the filthiest plane i've ever been on was spring clean compared to, say, the kind of dirt and germs and lord knows what else my dad lived in growing up on the lower east side tenements prior to and during the Depression.  And he's 82 and spry as f*ck (despite having smoked since he was about ten years old), and fights off everything he seems to get.

    Your dad and my granddad (none / 0) (#76)
    by reslez on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 05:23:17 AM EST
    grew up in the kind of conditions that would sicken us and our kids. We grew up in a cleaner environment. Our immune systems aren't as robust as theirs because we haven't been exposed to the same cocktail of bacteria and viruses since childhood. There's a reason people get sick when they travel to a new environment.

    I'd rather not pay for the honor of exposing myself to a germ cornucopia on an airplane, thank you! And "in this economy" I bet a lot of people will make the same choice.


    Carry a personal ballpoint pen with you. (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by BarnBabe on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 07:00:38 PM EST
    One of the things 'I' am doing is carrying a ballpoint pen with me in my purse. You might have a need for it when signing things with a community pen. For instance, signing your name on the pharmacy sheet as you pick up your scripts. I always think, how many sick people are there using the same pen. I also am strict about wiping down the grocery store cart when entering the store. They have wipes there. I am not constantly worrying about germs, but these two things are a must.

    There are so many things we all share, such as money. I don't intend to go around wearing gloves all the time, but who knows what it will come to eventually.And we all know of a time we were on a plane next to a sick person and just knew you were going to be sick in a few days. And you were.

    How many of you had the 1976 "Swine Flu" shot? I did. They had to stop it because too many people were dying from it.On 60 Minutes last night they were saying people born before 1952 have the least chance of getting it because of the flu strains that happened before that time. Interesting concept.

    I think the public itself must take some precautions and responsibility including flu shots. That said, there were 78 cases of flu last Oct. There are 5k this Oct. The odds don't look good. I really don't want to wear a face mask, but if I do out of necessity, mine will have the goofy smile drawn on the front of it.  

    you just made me realize (none / 0) (#73)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 01:48:23 AM EST
    my pharmacy has one of those autopens you have to pick up to sign the screen confirming that you received the pills (and accepted or declined counseling) even when you don't owe any money. It doesn't allow regular pens. Same for 7-11 stores and many other places that take credit cards. Guess I'll start carrying hand wipes to hold around the pen when I sign.

    It's really impossible to prevent. What if the pharmacist has a cold and coughs when filling your prescription? Same for your food server in a restaurant? Or the grocery worker who puts out the fresh fruits and vegetables? Or the mailman who delivers your mail? Or the person who used the weight machine or treadmill at the gym before you? Or pumped gas right before you? I wonder if department stores will shut down cosmetic counters with lipstick and other makeup samples.

    I'll be glad to take the vaccine when it's available. Until then I guess I'll read up on symptoms to catch it early.


    hmmmm... (none / 0) (#89)
    by sj on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 09:55:42 AM EST
    Wouldn't a touch screen stylus pen of your own work?

    And these finger tip styli?  Weird, but kind of cool, too...


    I was thinking the (none / 0) (#92)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 10:18:56 AM EST
    same thing. They do make pens that have a stylus selection...like those multi-colored pens. The Retro 51 Tornado is one of my favorite pens to write with...even they have one.

    This has been kicking around (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 11:49:19 PM EST
    on the net. Since it isn't selling anything you may want to read it.

    Dr. Vinay Goyal is an MBBS,DRM,DNB (Intensivist and Thyroid specialist) having clinical experience of over 20 years.

    The following message given by him, makes a lot of sense.

    The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.

    While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock Tamiflu):

    1. Frequent hand-washing.

    2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).

    3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you
    don't trust salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in
    the throat/nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic
    symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

    4. Similar to 3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every
    day with warm salt water . Not everybody may use a Neti pot
    (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population. Neti pots and sinus rinse kits are available at the drug store and inexpensive....under $15.        

    1. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C . If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

    2. Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can.
    Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in
    the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

    Pass this on.  You never know who might pay attention to it - and STAY ALIVE because of it.

    very interesting suggestions (none / 0) (#72)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 01:35:19 AM EST
    Here's the web link

    Must I give up going to concerts? Sat. (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by oculus on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 12:19:37 AM EST
    evening, as the world's most beautiful music began, many, many people in the audience began coughing.  

    Concert decorum. (none / 0) (#75)
    by lentinel on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 02:57:35 AM EST
    Some of that coughing might be because it's flu season.
    But, for some reason, people love to cough at concerts whether or not they have a cold. They save all their coughs for the occasion.

    Lots of coughers... (none / 0) (#84)
    by kdog on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 08:13:16 AM EST
    at the large venue shows I attend...but I think that might be more because of monster tokes  than the flu:)

    Ya gotta live your life...and that means coming in contact with germs.  I'll take my chances...for no other reason than masks and wipes and duct taping the windows is no way to live, at least for me.


    More than that? (none / 0) (#86)
    by lentinel on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 08:42:08 AM EST
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you said that you actually like germs. You sort-of befriend them. Pick food off the floor. Stuff like that.

    So you are probably totally immune to the fog of germs dancing around in public gatherings. More power to you.

    Me - I can sense a germ that wants to bond with me and take over.
    I go in the other direction.

    But - the kind of compulsive coughing - or coughing from the irritation caused by a gigantic bong is different.

    I just wonder why people who are not sick feel the need to make  sounds that are like seals at feeding time. And they choose the softest passages to make their loudest declarations.


    Sounds about right... (none / 0) (#87)
    by kdog on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 09:21:04 AM EST
    I do think that coming in regular contact with the big germ we call earth is healthier living than over-sanitization.  No Lysol in my house:)

    Maybe the cough phenomenon is like the yawn phenomenon...subconciously contagious.


    If I were in relatively good health (none / 0) (#77)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 06:18:31 AM EST
    and were part of the baby boomer population that it looks like also has some immunity to H1N1, I don't know how concerned I would be.  It does seem to hit certain families much harder and is more dangerous for certain people.  How do you know if you are one of those or not?  I think we have already had it. It hit Alabama hard last month.  I think the state was one of the first to madly spike.  We were all sick for a month.  I will still get vaccinated though.  If it was H1N1, I never throw up with the flu and this time I did, shocked the whole family.  My digestive tract never gets involved in my flus much, or maybe it is just strains I have some experience with.  Anyhow, I couldn't sleep last night so I'm blogging. I wake up in the middle of the night with questions about Joshua's feet that seem to come to me in my sleep and then I must google.

    I am purportedly too old to need swine (none / 0) (#90)
    by oculus on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 10:15:40 AM EST
    flu vaccination.  No way I will stop going to concerts.  Feeds my soul.  I am kinda glad my tutoree got the vaccines available though.  I spend a lot of time with him on Mondays!

    Your Doctor should have (none / 0) (#95)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 07:51:55 PM EST
    taken a swab test and told you if it was H1N1. Ours did with our grandson and said yes, it was.

    I didn't go to the doctor (none / 0) (#101)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 02:21:54 PM EST
    We knew several people around us who had it and there were no emergency cases so I felt fine with just allowing it to run its course.  I know this thing is very dangerous for some folks, but nobody that we have known.

    The news here in MN is that apparently humans (none / 0) (#2)
    by DFLer on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 04:17:02 PM EST
    have infected pigs with the swine-flu (at the State Fair late summer)

    Some state fairs (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by nycstray on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 04:31:01 PM EST
    had the pigs behind glass barriers to protect them and their piglets from the humans :)

    Just saw the blurb about the MN pigs on the news. They did stress that they prob caught it from us and we have nothing to fear as far as pork goes. Something tells me that still won't be enough . . .


    zoonosis (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jen M on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 04:24:28 PM EST
    is not news

    It is in this case (none / 0) (#18)
    by eric on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 05:06:49 PM EST
    because it is the first infection of pigs in the U.S.  4H kids coughing on the pigs.  Heh.

    Please cease discussing this... (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 05:08:47 PM EST
    I'd hate to see the 4H kids get charged with animal cruelty...ya just never know these days:)

    Ha. Then maybe they will be offered (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 05:15:39 PM EST
    NFL contracts!

    they sent the 4-H kids home early. (none / 0) (#34)
    by DFLer on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 06:02:41 PM EST
    kids (none / 0) (#27)
    by Jen M on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 05:25:41 PM EST
    dogs,cats, parents

    Wherever animals live in close with people, they share and share alike.  That cold that won't leave? Over sharing.


    Got regular flu shot last week. Last night (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 04:29:03 PM EST
    I went to a lecture on Murano glass.  Two elderly men were welcomed back to the House of Italy.  They had been out w/the flu.  Wondered why they didn't get flu shots but didn't ask.  

    had the seasonal vaccine (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by otherlisa on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 06:57:24 PM EST
    and will get the H1N1 as soon as it's available to me. I'm traveling to China for 5 weeks in Nov. and would just as soon not catch the flu while I'm there, thanks very much...

    Good idea. The kid I tutor told me (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by oculus on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 12:09:44 AM EST
    he got regular flu shot and nasal spray he though was for swine flu.  At a community clinic.

    Well, if I can get (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by otherlisa on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 01:58:51 AM EST
    the H1N1 before I go. They do have it in China, actually, and it's supposed to be a decent vaccine. I gather. So maybe I'll do it there.

    That is, if I don't catch it first! Everyone around me seems to be getting it.


    Well . . . (none / 0) (#15)
    by SOS on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 05:04:26 PM EST
    I was glad to read... (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 05:04:54 PM EST
    exceptions are made to visit the dying.

    Private property, hospitals...they can set restrictions as they see fit, I can live with that, within reason.  Restricting movement of free people is another matter...I see cops on the streets with thermometers I won't be a happy camper.  Forced vaccination too is another matter.  Certain risks are part of the deal on earth for the living, and must be accepted, lest we get tyranny-crazy.

    Well (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 05:15:36 PM EST
    It has to be balanced between your right not to have a shot and my right not to get the flu.  The risks of death from the flu are relatively low so that's a point in your favor.  However, the risk of serious, life threatening side effect from the vaccine are even lower.  Where do we draw the line?  I don't know.  In this case, we would probably determine that it is not worth restricting your freedoms so I don't have to eat chicken noodle soup.  If we were talking smallpox, we might think differently.

    However, I do think it is enormously irresponsible for health care workers to not get the shot.  

    What is the old expression?  Your right to swing your fist ends when it hits me in the nose.  But really, if it's just a tap, then what?


    No doubt... (none / 0) (#26)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 05:25:36 PM EST
    I get extreme on this stuff cuz I feel its that important, but a balance must be struck, to be sure.  I just don't think H1N1 rates to quarantine or vaccinate against free will, not yet anyway, though I readily admit it is a serious public health concern for which we'd be foolish not to take some precautions, even if I personally ain't sweatin' it.  If I should catch it this year I won't drag my arse to work like I would in past years, I'll stay home for y'all.  But I ain't lettin' ya stick with me with no needles containing mercury and god knows what other poisons.  And I ain't lettin' ya lock me up.  That's too far out of balance for the threat, imo.

    I got a suggestion... (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 11:39:17 PM EST
    If you don't want to take the shots, and if you come down with either variety......

    Should you be allowed to take up space in a hospital?? (Assuming that one would be needed.)

    I know that is a tough question, bro. But think about it.

    FL is already talking about withholding treatment from elderly patients should there be a space problem. Why should it be given to people who didn't take the shots and become sick?


    Well . . . . (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by nycstray on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 11:59:22 PM EST
    if Kdog got sick, there's a darn good chance he wouldn't have been eligible for the shot yet. Far as I know he's young and healthy, so at the bottom of the list like me :) So before you go counting bed space as to who's gotten a shot or not, you may want to look at the shot rationing and wait until it's available to all . . . then judge.

    The plain old (2.00 / 0) (#79)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 06:57:33 AM EST
    regular flu shots have been available for over  a month and yes, it does kill people every year.

    And outside of children and health care workers first I know of no H1N1 "list."


    Typical solution for the (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 09:37:33 AM EST
    mood of the day.

    Now, just who do you think might not be able to get a shot....the poor, perhaps? Make the vaccine available and free for everyone and then your suggestion might not be so biased toward particular groups.

    What about the fact there isn't enough to give to everyone? What about the ongoing information saying who the high risk groups are and that they need to get the shot first? People are coming down with the virus because the shots haven't been available until recently, and many areas have already run out of their first shipment.


    sorry.... here is the link (none / 0) (#66)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 11:57:38 PM EST
    If flu vaccination... (none / 0) (#85)
    by kdog on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 08:19:22 AM EST
    became mandatory, I would happily surrender any claim to a hospital bed for an exemption to the mandate.

    dose response curve (none / 0) (#28)
    by Jen M on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 05:28:11 PM EST
    Next time you get a nasty headache try taking half a low dose aspirin. Or maybe one 8th a normal tylenol.  See how much effect it has.

    I love ya Jen... (none / 0) (#29)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 05:34:44 PM EST
    but I ain't gettin' the shot...my immune is in the shape of its life and I ain't feelin' exactly confident about all of modern medicine.  

    *fortunately* (none / 0) (#30)
    by Jen M on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 05:44:24 PM EST
    That is still your decision!

    But really, don't sweat it if you eventually do need a vaccine. (for something far more dangerous - may it never happen)


    No worse for the wear... (none / 0) (#33)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 05:54:03 PM EST
    on the polio and whatever else is on that immunization card sittin' in the junk drawer...if some plague pops up that I don't think my immune can handle I'll be right there, no worries:)

    There isn't enough vaccine for (none / 0) (#31)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 05:44:56 PM EST
    everyone. It should be opt out, otherwise, some method of deciding who can't have one will be put in play.

    I'm staying away from people who work in or live with someone in the medical profession, though. That live virus sprayed up their noses just seems like something I want to avoid being around. And, their family members end up being at higher risk of getting sick IMO because of it.


    I can't avoid them. (none / 0) (#32)
    by Jen M on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 05:51:46 PM EST
    They are at w*rk!

    Don't sweat it . . (none / 0) (#20)
    by SOS on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 05:10:38 PM EST
    intelligent, informed people everywhere are saying NO to this vaccine and popular support for the vaccine is crumbling by the day.

    I wish it were (none / 0) (#38)
    by jen on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 06:47:38 PM EST
    possible to restrict people on their public movements if they're sick. Especially on airplanes where the air is re-circulated and you're trapped for hours and hours. It should be common sense and decency for people to stay home and keep their kids home when they're in the contagious stage, but most people don't -- or can't.

    I actually just quit volunteering at the local no-kill animal shelter here for the winter because so many of the volunteers are kids, and constantly come in sneezing and coughing all over the place, using the computer and phone. I always clean the mouse, keyboard and phone first thing, but with cases of swine flu being reported at the elementary school here, I decided to stay away for now.

    BTW, glad you're back Jeralyn! Your spa retreat sounds perfect!

    Talk radio (none / 0) (#46)
    by Lora on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 07:32:28 PM EST
    I had the misfortune to be in a rental car with no visible means of FM radio over the weekend.  Therefore I spent my trip to NJ on Sunday listening to a good deal of right wing talk radio.

    On one station the talk show host was ranting about those who do not get the H1N1 vaccine.  The message:  Anyone who does not get the shot is irresponsible (children are dying!), foolish (they question everything when they should leave it to the experts) or gullible (they listen to those alternative medicine wingnuts).  The talk show host began to quote an alternative doctor whose message was to bolster your immune system with supplements, get your rest and excercise, and practice good hygiene; then you won't need to get the flu shot.

    The talk show host began by admitting that some of the advice was good, even reading quotes about washing hands etc.  But then something funny happened.  When the quotes started to be about why the alternative doctor had problems with the flu shots, the talk show host abruptly stopped quoting, and began ranting, "Just don't listen to them.  Don't listen to this utter nonsense!" (Perhaps not a direct quote, but to the best of my memory that was the intent of the statement.)

    I find it fascinating that the actual reasons why people might not want to get the shot were suddenly censored.

    If right wing talk radio is pushing something hard, I am going to be cautious.

    Lora, if you don't want to take the shots (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 11:44:42 PM EST
    it is fine with me. But if you get sick and we have a pandemic then I don't think you should expect hospital space in front of someone who has taken the shots and has caught the flu anyway, or has another disease....

    So.... (5.00 / 0) (#80)
    by Lora on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 07:11:50 AM EST
    What ARE the arguments -- serious ones, I mean, against getting the flu shot, eh?

    Certainly the talk show host I listened to didn't want his audience to hear them.

    He'd rather just say "Don't listen to them."

    And Jim, how about hospital space for those patients with lifestyles that set you up for heart attacks, diabetes, or high blood pressure?

    These patients could have prevented, or at least strongly improved their chances, against these life-threatening ailments that cost so much in medical care every year.

    If you didn't pass on the cheesecake and ice cream, no hospital space for you!

    And maybe we should fine anyone with these conditions who pulls up to a Dairy Queen drive-through!

    Kidding, of course.  But I'll hazard a guess that heart attacks, high blood pressure, and diabetes -- nearly all preventable -- kill more every year than the swine flu will.


    Got any vaccines for those ailments? (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Fabian on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 08:07:09 AM EST
    Sure would be nice to get a few shots every decade and not have to worry about hypertension, cardiac disease and diabetes.

    It's amusing to see people freak out over one optional vaccine while they indulge a variety of much riskier activities every day.  


    The facts are that the flu shots work. (none / 0) (#93)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 07:44:38 PM EST
    When you don't take them and when/if you come down with either/both strains you spread the disease further and take up resources that you didn't have to.

    That is the point.

    As for killing, the last flu pandemic in the 1912-15 time frame killed an estimated 15 million world wide.

    Take the shots.


    There's a name for this kind of argument ... (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by FreakyBeaky on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 01:07:19 AM EST
    that I am forgetting, but anyway:

    The talk show host began to quote an alternative doctor whose message was to bolster your immune system with supplements, get your rest and excercise, and practice good hygiene; then you won't need to get the flu shot.

    All good things to be sure - but to promote them as a substitute for vaccination against a pandemic virus is nuts.  I mean that is a major case of Not Getting The Picture.  Should we not get vaccinations against smallpox too?  Besides, to say that only the careless, unhygienic, badly rested and lacking exercise crowd gets the flu is a faith-based argument - cleanliness and clean living being next to godliness and all that rot.

    H1N1 is not the end of the world - but it is real, and we have to deal with it.

    I've got a much, much better idea.  Don't listen to talk radio!  It won't protect you from H1N1, but for however long you live, you'll be happier. :-)


    Swine flu is not smallpox (none / 0) (#81)
    by Lora on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 07:28:10 AM EST
    Swine flu is the flu.  Swine flu has a sudden onset, and complications that can kill may set in quickly.  So far, as I understand, its mortality rate is comparable with other flu strains.

    Serious, yes.  The word "pandemic" indicates how far and fast it has spread.

    It is not smallpox.

    We don't know enough about our bodies' immune system to predict who will and who will not be able to fend off the flu virus with preventative measures.  However, I think your conclusion that the alternative doctor was saying that "that only the careless, unhygienic, badly rested and lacking exercise crowd gets the flu" is another kind of rhetorical argument that I'm forgetting the name of.  The doctor didn't say that and you are jumping to conclusions here.  (I also abbreviated the quote and don't know if it was precisely that cut-and-dried.)

    However, many of the early reported swine flu deaths in children were in patients who were not in the best of health.

    I have successfully fended off or mitigated upper respiratory infections with vitamins, and supplements.  I would not trust them for smallpox.  However, given my past success with upper respiratory infections, I'm willing to give preventative measures a try over a largely untested vaccine for which (my understanding is) the manufactures have an immunity against lawsuits.


    Lora writes (none / 0) (#94)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 07:48:05 PM EST
    However, many of the early reported swine flu deaths in children were in patients who were not in the best of health.

    That appears to be changing. Mutation of the virus to make it more deadly?

    No one knows. But the shots can prevent.

    That's the point. No need to gamble with it.


    Source? (none / 0) (#97)
    by Lora on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 08:34:20 PM EST
    I posted:

    "However, many of the early reported swine flu deaths in children were in patients who were not in the best of health."

    Jim replied:

    "That appears to be changing."

    Source, Jim?

    Here's one for me, from the CDC website.  It doesn't refer to any more recent study, so I question your inference that the percentage of healthy people dying as a result of swine flu is increasing.

    From the CDC:

    How many patients hospitalized with novel H1N1 flu have had underlying medical conditions?
    CDC studied the hospital records of 268 patients hospitalized with novel H1N1 flu early on during the outbreak. The analysis found that the prevalence of selected underlying conditions was significantly higher among hospitalized novel H1N1 flu patients compared to the prevalence in the general U.S. populations, except for chronic renal disease and obesity.  

    You do understand (none / 0) (#98)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 10:03:01 PM EST
    with novel H1N1 flu early on during

    what this means, don't you? Things may have changed.

    The province also confirmed Tuesday that a 26-year-old Mission mother who died 10 days ago from H1N1 had no underlying health conditions. She was the first previously healthy person in B.C. to die from the virus, but other provinces have reported deaths in people with no underlying health conditions.


    The deaths of a Caldwell County teenager who had no known health issues


    (July 11n 2009) - British health authorities said on Friday they had recorded the first death from H1N1 flu in an otherwise healthy patient.


    (10/5/2009)It was the seventh death from H1N1 in Minnesota, and the second time this year that an otherwise healthy child died after becoming infected with the new flu strain.


    Rankin went to work as usual last Thursday as an F-16 crew chief, Buren said. On Tuesday, he had even passed a grueling military physical fitness test and then on Friday came down with something.

    "He said he had a cold, and of course being Shawn, trying to protect me, I said, 'Well, you need to get it checked out,' and he said, 'OK, I will mom,' and left it at that," she said.


    Need some more?


    No, doesn't support your point (none / 0) (#100)
    by Lora on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 08:51:50 AM EST
    From my quote from the CDC:

    The analysis found that the prevalence of selected underlying conditions was significantly higher among hospitalized novel H1N1 flu patients compared to the prevalence in the general U.S. populations...

    I asked you to justify your suggestion that the swine flu may be changing and a higher percentage of otherwise healthy people were dying from the swine flu and/or complications from the flu.

    All you've done with your quotes is pointed out that there was always a first time for the report of an otherwise healthy person dying of complications from the flu.

    The CDC's reporting simply said that there was a significantly higher percentage of hospitalized flu patients with certain underlying conditions than of healthy patients compared to the general populations.

    This means, of course, that early on there were also patients hospitalized with the swine flu that were  without these conditions -- i.e. healthy as far as we know -- who were affected severely by the flu.

    I did not find any statistics about swine flu-related deaths and patients with underlying conditions vs. otherwise healthy patients.

    Neither, apparently, did you.


    You must think think this is a middle school (none / 0) (#102)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 04:18:54 PM EST
    debate and no one is dying and/or at risk.

    First and again. The CDC study was early on. That makes it old and dated at this point in time.

    Secondly, I gave you links to healthy people dying all over the world just to show that it wasn't isolated.

    And those pregnant women who are being warned, well, I guess they just don't count.

    A virus is a tricky beastie that is well known to mutate.

    As for studies, they will be available after the death and destruction (if it occurs).

    So don't take the shots. Just don't ask for anyone else to sacrifice if you become ill.


    Nevertheless (none / 0) (#103)
    by Lora on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 06:28:50 PM EST
    You have no factual basis on which to assume that the virus is mutating and causing more deaths of healthy people.

    As for anyone else not sacrificing for me if I get the flu...

    In that case, don't eat ice cream and cheesecake and then take up emergency room time and personnel should you get a heart attack.


    It is very odd (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Jen M on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 06:39:47 AM EST
    but the vaccine is evil/good does not fall along political lines. Anti/pro Vaccine movement is an example of left and right living together in peaceful harmony.

    Economies (none / 0) (#74)
    by lentinel on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 02:55:33 AM EST
    I remember when the planes began recirculating air in order to save money. Instead of fresh air, we get everybody's germs.

    If only people would (none / 0) (#82)
    by Fabian on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 07:56:37 AM EST
    pay more for a plane ticket....?


    Not sure they'll let you carry your own oxygen on board, but if people want to fly and have the cash to do it, certainly they can take measures so they don't breathe everyone else's air.

    And what about the astronauts?  DOESN'T ANYONE CARE ABOUT THOSE POOR ASTRONAUTS?  They have to breathe the same air for DAYS!


    OMG. One more thing to worry about! (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by oculus on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 10:16:31 AM EST
    Actually.... (none / 0) (#96)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Oct 20, 2009 at 08:20:39 PM EST