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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu Jumps Continents

According to an article written by Daniel Cressey at the website (,

"Swine flu has been confirmed in Mexico, the United States and Europe — and may have spread as far afield as New Zealand. With more than 80 people suspected to have died of the disease in Mexico, where this outbreak seems to have originated, the director general of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, said the outbreaks "constitute a public-health emergency of international concern".

Influenza viruses are reasonably common in pigs. Traditionally, most human cases of swine flu are contracted through contact with infected animals, rather than from human-to-human transmission but this flu does seem to be spreading between people.
It spreads in the same way as normal flu, with most of those infected likely to have contracted it through airborne viruses. Infection by touching contaminated surfaces is also possible. Symptoms are also likely to resemble those of normal flu.

"With this sort of virus we would expect a mild, influenza-like illness, with fatalities in the minority of cases," says Wendy Barclay, chair in influenza virology at Imperial College London. "Over the next few days, as the numbers in other countries increase, we'll have a much better idea what the true case fatality is. Looking genetically at the virus there are no hallmarks of high pathogenicity."

Swine flu is an influenza A type virus. Apparently the virus found in Mexico appears to be a new virus. Some of the samples have been sequenced and seem to have recombined from several different viruses, in fact as stated by Anne Schuchat, deputy director of the science and public health program at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

"we know so far that the viruses contain genetic pieces from four different virus sources".

What can a person do to make themselves less vunerable to catching the swine flu?
Some people in the world already possess some level of resistance to this flu virus, and their is no vaccine against this virus that will keep us from getting it. Researchers are preparing the virus as a seed strain for vaccine manufacture, a process that can take weeks. If thought necessary, a vaccine could be produced around three to six months after the seed strain is ready.

For now, the WHO (World Health Organization) suggests avoiding contact with people who may be unwell, covering the nose and mouth if you have to deal with ill people, and maintaining high standards of hygiene.


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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.