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#1258658 - 08/29/09 04:45 PM Re: Swine flu prevention [Re: Mark...]  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 391
diinin Offline
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diinin  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 391
Originally Posted by Mark...
So far this virus doesn't seem any worse that the yearly flu we see every year. This one is just getting more media attention. Hand washing with soap and hot water is the best. 15 seconds minimum. Many sanitizers/disinfectants cause bugs to morph into stronger bugs.

Send sick kids home and like someone said don't touch your face. Get the flu shot. Eat well get rest and don't stress out on this flu...

But here's the problem. (I'm an ICU nurse, BTW). This virus was very active over the summer, even in the Northern Hemisphere, when the conditions for the flu virus are normally unfavorable. The fact that it was so active at such an unlikely time is ominous. It is also hitting people in their prime. Further, when it combines with the seasonal flu, we will get still more variations. The flu is highly unpredictable, especially a new strain. This could turn out to be more serious than people realize.

While antibiotics (oral and IV/IM) do cause super-bugs, I'm not aware that that's been proven with our hand soaps. Also, hand sanitizers are said to be effective on the flu virus and most other bugs, except C-diff.

The most important thing for people to know is that the flu is RESPIRATORY. There is no such thing as the stomach flu. If you have no respiratory symptoms, you do not have the flu (some kids have had some nausea/vomiting with H1N1, which is unusual, but still it's not the primary symptom). If you think you have a bad cold, you may have the flu. THAT is where the challenge lies--discerning a bad cold from the flu.

I agree not to stress out about it, though.

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#1258665 - 08/29/09 05:10 PM Re: Swine flu prevention [Re: diinin]  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,548
gooddog Offline
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gooddog  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,548
Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted by diinin
Also, hand sanitizers are said to be effective on the flu virus and most other bugs, except C-diff.

Ah ha. That explains the hand washing when my son was in the hospital. There were indeed ruling out C-diff. (Clostridium difficile).

Best regards,

#1258687 - 08/29/09 06:18 PM Re: Swine flu prevention [Re: gooddog]  
Joined: Oct 2008
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Jeff Clef Offline
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Jeff Clef  Offline
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Posts: 4,788
San Jose, CA
As I understand it, fever is the one big symptom that tells you whether you have a mere cold or the more serious flu, which kills tens of thousands of people, just in the US, even in an ordinary year. Then, there are the terrible flu years like 1918, when even the youngest and strongest are killed in a matter of days (twenty million deaths worldwide, by some estimates--- with a much lower world population). That is what the health experts are trying to forestall, as you can well imagine that there is no possibility that everyone could be treated.

Not that I'm unsympathetic with anyone who's ill, but it has bothered me for a long time that people seem to feel it's quite ok to go out in public and spread these communicable diseases to whomever they share a space with. Classroom, piano keyboard, subway car, airplane, office--- you name it. Of course, there's a lot of pressure on people to do this from employers, airlines, schools, etc., because it would cost them money and some inconvenience to do otherwise. But a lot of people, it seems to me, just don't care what happens to the other guy... and I would be glad to see this change.

One would think that even the simplest of infection control devices, like the handkerchief, had never been invented, let alone staying home until you feel better.

I think maybe the easier and quicker hand-sanitizer method is preferred by health workers partly because washing the hands with soap twenty times during the work day is pretty rough on the skin. But... if you want to find a really excellent population of germs, what better place to look than a doctor's waiting room?

For the rest of us, hand-washing is probably the best.


#1258699 - 08/29/09 06:41 PM Re: Swine flu prevention [Re: Jeff Clef]  
Joined: Jun 2008
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gooddog Offline
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gooddog  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,548
Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
But... if you want to find a really excellent population of germs, what better place to look than a doctor's waiting room?

Sorry to keep this non-musical thread going but what Jeff said brought something else to mind. When you visit the doctor's office, do yourself a favor and do not use the pens that are available at the receptionist's desk and do not read the magazines. Who knows what kind of illness the last person who used them had? Bring your own pen and reading matter.

Best regards,

#1258715 - 08/29/09 08:04 PM Re: Swine flu prevention [Re: Jeff Clef]  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,886
Andromaque Offline
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Andromaque  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,886
New York
Originally Posted by Jeff Clef

For the rest of us, hand-washing is probably the best.

I would not want to be misunderstood about hand washing. I am not underestimating it. It is key. HOWEVER, access to hand washing is not always easy (or sanitary). In fact, taps, sink surfaces, bathroom door handles and even soap bars are often cultured for a wide variety of germs. A little tip here: When you wash your hands, especially in a public area, you should avoid contact with these surfaces after you wash. The best way would be of course "no-touch activators" that turn the tap on and off and open the door automatically. Alternatively, use a dry paper towel to turn the tap off and open the door..
The above limitations (and the poor compliance rates)have led to the development of automatic sanitizer dispensers. Their efficacy against most bacteria and viruses (not all) is not questionable and their use in what may prove to be an upcoming epidemic is beneficial to all. Many schools now have them (at least in my neck of the woods). Piano teachers would be wise to consider upgrading their sanitation efforts since they do not have control over students outside their studios and are in the relatively high risk category, much like doctors and their waiting rooms!
I apologize for the diatribe, but the subject matter is important and the data clear cut.

Last edited by Andromaque; 08/29/09 08:05 PM.
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