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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

LIVE REPORTS on SWINE FLU from Doctors in Mexico

The following are actual commentaries from Doctors in Mexico about this flu outbreak and their comments display the tense emotional rollercoaster people feel during a "pandemic".

It is obvious from these good doctors that rumors still run rampant even among educated medical staff; people also become scared because of lack of good information; and at a time of great need, trust in local and federal government to come "bail them out" in the worst case scenario, appears like a bleak chance to virtually no chance. Preparedness does come up again, in that people are out obtaining facemasks and hand sanitizing lotions and soaps. Good ideas for us to do so before the panic sets in in this country and these items are not availble.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/talking_point/8018428.stm

Readers in Mexico have been emailing the BBC describing the sense of fear gripping the country as a result of a flu virus outbreak, which has so far claimed more than 80 lives. The World Health Organization says the virus has the potential to become a pandemic. Read a selection of BBC readers' comments below.

I'm a specialist doctor in respiratory diseases and intensive care at the Mexican National Institute of Health. There is a severe emergency over the swine flu here. More and more patients are being admitted to the intensive care unit. Despite the heroic efforts of all staff (doctors, nurses, specialists, etc) patients continue to inevitably die. The truth is that anti-viral treatments and vaccines are not expected to have any effect, even at high doses. It is a great fear among the staff. The infection risk is very high among the doctors and health staff.

There is a sense of chaos in the other hospitals and we do not know what to do. Staff are starting to leave and many are opting to retire or apply for holidays. The truth is that mortality is even higher than what is being reported by the authorities, at least in the hospital where I work it. It is killing three to four patients daily, and it has been going on for more than three weeks. It is a shame and there is great fear here. Increasingly younger patients aged 20 to 30 years are dying before our helpless eyes and there is great sadness among health professionals here.
Antonio Chavez, Mexico City

I am a doctor and I work in the State of Mexico. I don't work in the shock team; I am in the echocardiography team, but I do get some news from my colleagues in the hospital. There have been some cases of young people dying from respiratory infections, but this happened before the alert and they were not reported because the necessary tests weren't done. We doctors knew this was happening a week before the alert was issued and were told to get vaccinated. I went to buy some anti-virals for my husband, who is also a doctor, because he had contact with a young patient who presented influenza symptoms and died. I don't think pharmacies stock enough anti-virals.

I understand the government doesn't want to generate panic, but my personal opinion is that they issued the alert too late. Still now, the population is not getting the information they need. We have been out in the street and some people are not wearing face masks and are not taking any preventive measures.
Guadalupe, Mexico City

I think there is a real lack of information and sadly, preventative action. In the capital of my state, Oaxaca, there is a hospital closed because of a death related to the porcine influenza. In the papers they recognize only two people dead for that cause. Many friends working in hospitals or related fields say that the situation is really bad, they are talking about 19 people dead in Oaxaca, including a doctor and a nurse. They say they got shots but they were told not to talk about the real situation. Our authorities say nothing. Life goes on as usual here.

Young people are going to schools and universities. Buses and planes go and come from Mexico City as frequently as before. Even with two people dead locally, last night the local baseball stadium was full, mainly with young people. What's really happening? I know vaccines are good for nothing, and if you take care, maybe you won't die, so, why not acknowledge the real situation? I know that the economic situation is not the best, and it will worsen with panic. But panic comes from a lack of information. Many people travel for pleasure or without any real need. Stopping those unjustified trips can help a lot to ease the situation. We must do something!Alvaro Ricardez, Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, Mexico

The truth is that it is very strange, what we are living through here. The streets are empty, we are all staying in our houses. People are only going out to the hospitals, drugstores and to buy food. The great majority have their mouths covered. Concerts, festivals, masses have all been cancelled, the football matches have all been played behind closed doors. On the television and radio, every commercial break contains information on the symptoms, saying that if you have them to go to the doctor at once. Although we have been told to go to work as normal on Monday, I am worried because I am employed at a company where there are many people and believe that it could be highly contagious. They say on the news that the cases that are most critical involve people aged 20 to 50.
Nallely T, State of Mexico

Right now the situation is quite scary. We've never been living under such circumstances and it's caught us completely off guard. We are a developing country so our health system isn't very effective, plus the fact that our city is overpopulated doesn't help much; the government is doing what they can but I don't think it's enough. So the future isn't looking too bright. Everyone is very frightened, there are few people on the streets and we are all trying to be as safe as possible. But not knowing exactly how the virus works and how it can be killed off creates a horrible uncertainty. I'm being pessimistic but that's how most people I've talked to feel. Mariana, Mexico City

It's certainly been very quiet where I'm living in the Historic Centre of Mexico City, whereas normally the centre is almost uncomfortably packed at the weekend. Most people also seem to be wearing the facemasks being handed out by the army around the city. There always seems to be a healthy mistrust of the government here, but I wouldn't say I'm sensing a great deal of paranoia or panic. It does seem as though the unprecedented actions being taken by the government to contain the virus don't match with the statistics being provided, however, so there is some doubt as to whether they're just being overly cautious or whether things are a lot worse than what they're telling the public.
Randal Sheppard, Mexico City

Right now, things are far from under control here. All the museums, zoos, and concert venues have been closed. Masses, football games, sporting activities, cultural activities, have all been cancelled. All schools will be closed until 6 May, from kindergarten to university. We don't know what to think, the truth is that the government isn't telling us the truth. This case is worst than we think, some people take this just like a joke but not me, this is serious! Als it seems clear that this illness doesn't appear to be affecting the whole country, just Mexico City, the State of Mexico and San Luis Potosi.
Carla, Mexico City

I work as a resident doctor in one of the biggest hospitals in Mexico City and sadly, the situation is far from "under control". As a doctor, I realize that the media does not report the truth.

Authorities distributed vaccines among all the medical personnel with no results, because two of my partners who worked in this hospital (interns) were killed by this new virus in less than six days even though they were vaccinated as all of us were. The official number of deaths is 20, nevertheless, the true number of victims are more than 200. I understand that we must avoid to panic, but telling the truth it might be better now to prevent and avoid more deaths.
Yeny Gregorio Dávila, Mexico City

The situation in Mexico City is really not normal. There is a sense of uncertainty that borders on paranoid behavior in some cases. At this very moment, Mexican TV is showing how military forces are giving masks to the people in the streets. Moreover the news is sending alarming messages for the audience. Really, the atmosphere in the city is unsettling, a good example: pubs and concerts are being closed or cancelled and people don't haven thorough information. In this city (and country) there is an urgent need for assertive information, no paranoid messages from the government or the Mexican media.
Patricio Barrientos and Aranzazu Nuñez, Mexico City

Massive events have been cancelled at the National Auditorium - Mexico City's largest indoor venue with capacity of 10,000 - which has been closed. Two soccer games have been cancelled at the Olympic Stadium. A sold out game with 70,000 expected attendance will be played behind closed doors. Another game at the famous Azteca Stadium that would draw an attendance of 50,000 will also be played behind closed doors.
Juan Carlos Leon Calderon, Mexico City

It's eerily quiet here in the capital. Lots of people with masks, Facebook communities exchanging gallows humor, everybody waiting to see if schools and universities will stay closed for ten days (as goes the rumor). All masks have been used up, and we are waiting for new supplies.
Dr Duncan Wood, Mexico City

Yesterday in my office it was a bit surreal walking in to see all in blue masks with deep cleansing of computer equipment and surfaces going on. Let's hope it is contained and does not escalate. The local news is reporting 200 fatalities and reports of flu spreading from areas outside of Mexico City. Given the volume of daily commuter traffic on cramped busses and trains, this may not have to be too virulent to be disastrous in human terms. I wonder what controls there will be on flights in and out.
Will Shea, Mexico City

I work for the government as a head of a computer infrastructure operations department. At work we are doing several actions to try not to expose workers. We sent several home. I support the Pumas football team and the very important match with the Guadalajara team will be played behind closed doors. My family and I are going to stay home all weekend. We feel a little scared and confused with the feeling that we are not given being told the truth. Many people think the numbers of dead people is higher than we are being told.
Marcos, Mexico City

The whole city is affected, I have a very bad feeling about this. Two of my friends at work are sick, they were sick for a couple of days, they went to the hospital and they sent them back to work. The doctor told them it was just a flu until Friday when the alarm was spread, then they were allowed to go home. I work in a call centre and I'm worried because there are no windows in the building so it cannot be ventilated and around 400 people work there.

We all have talked to our supervisor but no one has done anything not even sterilize or disinfect the area. We will be sick soon and, well, do the math - 400 can infect at least another two per day. The authorities say there's nothing they can do since it's a private company and I can assure you, the company I work for is not the only one like this in the whole city. Us workers don't have much protection from our government and if we want to keep our jobs we have to go anyway.
Adriana, Mexico City

My sister got influenza like symptoms two weeks ago. She is fine now, thank god, but similar cases have been showing up since two weeks ago. I work for a bank and we were told to take our laptops because there is a high possibility to work from home. I have gone out to buy some facemasks.
Ruben Farfan, Mexico City

I'm a college student in Mexico City, and I can only say that the information that the media has provided doesn't seem to be enough, we do not now how serious it is because they have failed to mention it. There have been two ways of responding to this event, the ones that have entered themselves into quarantine claiming that the government is hiding something much more serious, and those who take this as a joke saying that everyone is overreacting. To put a cherry on top all kinds of crazy rumors are flying around - that they are going to quarantine Mexico City, that a school and some specific branches of offices and jobs are going to be suspended for days to come, and so on. I wish more info was available, for example how to prevent it? Have there been many deaths? Is there a threat of an epidemic?
Mari A, Mexico City

I didn't hear about the flu epidemic until last night at 2330. Yesterday the streets were almost empty compared to a normal Friday afternoon. The media is bombarding the same information over and over again, but the authorities haven't said anything new yet, only that they have enough vaccines for those with the flu and that we should avoid public spaces.
Paulina, Mexico City

This is another blow to the tourism industry in Mexico, even though non of the events that is taken place is anywhere near the tourist areas of Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Puerto Vallarta, the news comes across as all of Mexico is affected! After wrong reports of drug related violence, military presence etc. in Cancun, which hurt the industry tremendously, now people think that all of Mexico is affected by a virus that is mostly present in the capital. I guess the problem is that this is a country where the capital carries the same name as the country, thus when people hear news about Mexico, albeit it refers to Mexico City, they assume it is affecting the whole country.
Rainer, Cancun

Original: http://washingtonpreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/04/live-reports-on-swine-flu-from-doctors.html

Pandemic Go-Kits

pandemic kits 265x176 custom Pandemic Go Kits I’ve had Pandemic Preps at my house for a while now. I also habitually carried some Pandemic Prep stuff in my Day Bag and my Go Bag. But in the last two days, due to the swine flu breakout/scare, I’ve decided to put together a hardened kit to carry, primarily so I don’t squish my N95 Masks.

My previous posts about Pandemic/Swine Flu Preps are here and here.

I made one of the large kits for each vehicle and the smaller one for my daily carry bag. They’re very simple and easy to throw together. I wanted to demonstrate for you just how easy it will be to put one together for yourself.

pandemic kits open Pandemic Go Kits

In each one I have:

  • 5 N95 masks (I have 5 so I have a couple to share with people I would rather not die, like the payroll dude).
  • 25 Pairs of disposable vinyl gloves
  • Alcohol based hand sanitizer
  • In my EDC kit I also have alcohol based wipes to wipe off any surfaces I might need sanitary

That’s it. Most of this stuff is available at Wal-Mart or K-Mart. Actually, all of it usually is but N95 masks are pretty much out of stock in Utah County.

As regular readers will know, I also carry plenty of other survival and prep stuff in my EDC (EveryDay Carry) bag. I now just throw this small kit in there as well.

Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/UtahPreppers/~3/316LWpGjGJA/

Pandemic Preparedness - DIY Sanitization

san prods 277x184 custom Pandemic Preparedness   DIY SanitizationPandemic Preparedness is one of the simpler types of prepping - mostly because it relies heavily on you already being prepped with other things like food storage, water storage, etc. A major component of Pandemic Prepping is preparation for quarantine. Sanitation is a major part of Pandemic and quarantine preparedness. While sanitzation is always important, during quarantine, sanitization will be extremely important in order to keep everyone healthy. In this post we’re going to talk about killing germs and how to do it safely with household products.

Why do it with household products? There are a couple answers to this. First, thriftiness kind of goes with prepping - or maybe it’s more like stretching our dollars since we spend SO MANY of them on preps! By buying large quantities of the base products for sanitization we’re also getting the base products for several other important preps - namely medical. If we get large quantities of the base stuff, we can put off determining their use based on our needs. We can also save money this way - buying bulk amounts of hand sanitizer is more expensive than buying bulk amounts of the ingredients for it! For some there is also a question of whether harsh additives have been added to their sanitizer that they do not want. By making it ourselves, we can be sure of what is going into it. Besides, prepping is all about self-reliance, right?!

Sanitizer Spray

You can kill most any germs, without leaving a dangerous residue, with a binary spray. White Vinegar and 3% Hydrogen Peroxide both kill germs. Simply fill one spray bottle with white vinegar and another with hydrogen peroxide. Spray whatever you need sanitized with one, then with the other. Individually these two kill large numbers of germs, combined they function as well as or better than commercial sanitizing spray.

NEVER NEVER mix them both into the same bottle though - this will create Peracetic Acid - which is useless to clean with, is corrosive, and can hurt you!

You could also fill a third bottle with bleach and zap something with all 3 of them if you wanted to be REALLY sure you had killed everything possible. But the bleach will discolor things and is potentially harmful if ingested.

So, for sanitizer spray store:

  • White Vinegar
  • 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Unscented Bleach (if desired)

If you notice in that list, those items can be used for several other things as well! Here are some links for further reading on this.

Hand Sanitizing Gel

This has been an interesting experiment and learning experience. I set out a couple days ago to figure out how to make hand sanitizer at home. With an immune fragile child in our home, we sanitize a LOT! After doing copious amounts of research and extended experimentation last night, I believe I have found a reliable and effective way to make hand sanitizer at home. First, some background:

To be effective, hand sanitizers MUST contain a minimum of 60% alcohol by concentration. Alcohol kills germs by dessication, meaning that it dries them out through rapid evaporation. A lower concentration of alcohol results in not having enough alcohol to rapidly evaporate and dry out the microbes on your hands. There are many recipes on the internet that result in an over-dilluted mixture which will prove to be very ineffective at killing germs. Here are two really good articles to read on this: One from the New York Times and one from the CDC.

The recipe and method we have come up with for Do-It-Yourself home-made hand sanitizing gel is as follows:

  • 5 cups 91% Isopropyl Alcohol
  • 2 cups 100% pure Aloe Gel

Notice that the ingredients for this are also useful for lots of other things?

This results in an alcohol concentration of roughly 63% (being more precise requires using tenths of a cup in measurement). You can add essential oils as desired for scent. There are some essential oils that add germ killing ability such as tea tree oil but I have no idea what the diluted effectiveness would be or what quantity you would need them in.

Making Hand Sanitizer Gel at Home

A Pictorial

san aloe Pandemic Preparedness   DIY SanitizationStart by measuring out your Aloe into a mixing bowl.

san alcohol Pandemic Preparedness   DIY SanitizationAdd in your alcohol

san mixing Pandemic Preparedness   DIY SanitizationMix at high speed - we found it works best to have a cute Cancer Chic run the mixer for you :)

Mix for several minutes, the solution will begin to gel

san aeration Pandemic Preparedness   DIY SanitizationThe aeration of the mixture is extremely important to getting the consistency correct. You should she bubbles all throughout the mixture.

san thickness Pandemic Preparedness   DIY SanitizationThe end mixture is thicker than water, but not extremely thick.

Once you’ve gotten the mixture to gel and achieve a constant consistency, you can pour it into containers for storage and use.

So with a potential pandemic from the swine flu and the resulting potential quarantine, with the need to have sanitizer in your EDC, BOB and 72 Hour kits, make sure you have plenty of these base components stored so you can use them as needed! I suggest storing the base components and using sanitization as a great way to rotate these items. Peroxide, bleach and alcohol all have couple year shelf lives, using them as regular household cleaners is a great way to keep them fresh! (Look for our upcoming post on lots more uses for vinegar and peroxide!)

Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/UtahPreppers/~3/8syHxs9WTvo/

5 things to know about a pandemic

It looks like we need to be vigilante with this swine flu out break so here are 5 things you should know.

Right now health officials around the world are trying to take precautions without inciting panic. Here are just a few of the questions facing them - and ultimately, us as well:
1. Is this a flu pandemic?
The influenza virus is constantly mutating. That's why we can't get full immunity to the flu, the way we can to diseases like chicken pox, because there are multiple strains of the flu virus and they change from year to year. However, even though the virus makes us sick, our immune systems can usually muster enough of a response so that the flu is rarely fatal for healthy people.
But every once in awhile, the virus shifts its genetic structure so much that our immune systems offer no protection whatsoever. (This usually happens when a flu virus found in animals - like the avian flu still circulating in Asia - swaps genes with other viruses in a process called reassortment, and jumps to human beings.) A flu pandemic occurs when a new flu virus emerges for which humans have little or no immunity and then spreads easily from person to person around the world. In the 20th century we had two mild flu pandemics, in 1968 and 1957, and the severe "Spanish flu" pandemic of 1918, which killed an estimated 40 to 50 million people worldwide.
The WHO has the responsibility of declaring when a new flu pandemic is underway, and to simplify the process, the U.N. body has established six pandemic phases. Thanks to H5N1 avian flu, which has killed 257 people since 2003 but doesn't spread very well from one human to another, we're currently at phase 3. If the WHO upgraded that status to phase 4, which is marked by a new virus that begins to pass easily enough from person to person that we can detect community-sized outbreaks, such a move would effectively mean that we've got a pandemic on our hands.
The H1N1 swine flu virus has already been identified as a new virus, with genes from human and avian flus as well as the swine variety. And since it is apparently causing large-scale outbreaks in Mexico, along with separate confirmed cases in the U.S. and Canada and suspected cases in other countries, it would seem that we've already met the criteria for phase 4. But though an emergency committee met on April 25 to evaluate the situation, the WHO hasn't made the pandemic declaration yet. Keiji Fukuda, the WHO's interim assistant director-general for health, security and environment, said on Sunday that its experts "would like a little bit more information and a little bit more time to consider this." The committee is set to meet again by April 28 at the latest.
As health officials have repeatedly emphasized, with good reason, the swine flu situation is evolving rapidly, and more lab tests are needed to ascertain exactly what is going on in Mexico and elsewhere. "We want to make sure we're on solid ground," said Fukuda, a highly respected former CDC official and flu expert.
2. What will happen if this outbreak gets classified as a pandemic?
Moving the world to pandemic phase 4 would be the signal for serious containment actions to be taken on the national and international level. Given that these actions would have major implications for the global economy, not to mention the effects of the public fear that would ensue, there is concern that the WHO may be considering politics along with science. "What the WHO did makes no sense," says Osterholm. "In a potential pandemic, you need to have the WHO be beyond question, and (April 25) was not a good day for them."
Of course, declaring a pandemic isn't a decision that should be taken lightly. For the WHO, phase 4 might trigger an attempt to keep the virus from spreading by instituting strict quarantines and blanketing infected areas with antivirals. But we appear to have missed the opportunity to contain the disease at its source since the virus is already crossing borders with ease. "We cannot stop this at the border," said Anne Schuchat, the CDC's interim director for science and public health. "We don't think that we can quench this in Mexico if it's in many communities now."
That would leave the WHO and individual countries to fall back on damage control, using antivirals and old-fashioned infection control - like closing schools, limiting public gatherings and even restricting travel - to slow the spread of the virus. But such efforts would likely inflict serious damage on an already faltering global economy - and the truth is, we don't know how well those methods will work.
3. Why have the U.S. cases been so much milder than the ones in Mexico?
This is the question that has health officials from Geneva to Washington puzzled. In Mexico, swine flu has caused severe respiratory disease in a number of patients - and even more worryingly, has killed the sort of young and healthy people who can normally shrug off the flu. (Fueling such concerns is the fact that similar age groups died in unusually high numbers during the 1918 pandemic.) Yet the cases in the U.S. have all been mild and likely wouldn't have even garnered much attention if doctors hadn't begun actively looking for swine flu in recent days. "What we're seeing in this country so far is not anywhere near the severity of what we're hearing about in Mexico," said the CDC's Besser. "We need to understand that."
Some of the difference may be due to the fact that Mexico has apparently been grappling with swine flu for weeks longer than the U.S. As doctors across the U.S. begin checking patients with respiratory symptoms for swine flu, CDC officials expect to see more severe cases in the U.S. as well - and as better epidemiological work is done in Mexico, we'll probably hear about more mild cases there too. Right now, however, the true severity of the H1N1 swine flu virus is still an open question, whose answer could change over time. The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic began with a fairly mild wave of infections in the spring, but the virus returned a few months later in a far more virulent form. That could happen with the current swine flu as well. "It's quite possible for this virus to evolve," said Fukuda. "When viruses evolve, clearly they can become more dangerous to people."
4. How ready is the U.S. - and the world - to respond to a flu pandemic?
In some ways, the world is better prepared for a flu pandemic today than it has ever been. Thanks to concerns over H5N1 avian flu, the WHO, the U.S. and countries around the world have stockpiled millions of doses of antivirals that can help fight swine flu as well as other strains of influenza. The U.S. has a detailed pandemic preparation plan that was drafted under former President George W. Bush. Many other countries have similar plans. SARS and bird flu have given international health officials useful practice runs for dealing with a real pandemic. We can identify new viruses faster than ever before, and we have life-saving technologies - like artificial respirators and antivirals - that weren't available back in 1918. "I believe that the world is much, much better prepared than we have ever been for dealing with this kind of situation," said Fukuda.
At the same time, the very nature of globalization puts us at greater risk. International air travel means that infections can spread very quickly. And while the WHO can prepare a new swine flu vaccine strain in fairly short order, we still use a laborious, decades-old process to manufacture vaccines, meaning it would take months before the pharmaceutical industry could produce its full capacity of doses - and even then, there wouldn't be enough for everyone on the planet. The U.S. could be particularly vulnerable; only one plant, in Stillwater, Penn., makes flu vaccine in America. In a pandemic, that could produce some ugly political debates. "Do you really think the E.U. is going to release pandemic vaccine to the U.S. when its own people need it?" asks Osterholm.
Indeed, the greatest risk from a pandemic might not turn out to be from the swine flu virus itself - especially if it ends up being relatively mild - but what Osterholm calls "collateral damage" if governments respond to the emergency by instituting border controls and disrupting world trade. Not only would the global recession worsen - a 2008 World Bank report estimated that a severe pandemic could reduce the world's GDP by 4.8% - but we depend on international trade now for countless necessities, from generic medicines to surgical gloves. The just-in-time production systems embraced by companies like Wal-Mart - where inventories are kept as low as possible to cut waste and boost profit - mean that we don't have stockpiles of most things. Supply chains for food, medicines and even the coal that generates half our electricity are easily disruptable, with potentially catastrophic results. Though we'll likely hear calls to close the border with Mexico, Osterholm points out that a key component used in artificial respirators comes from Mexico. "We are more vulnerable to a pandemic now than at any other time over the past 100 years," he says. "We can't depend on ourselves."
5. So how scared should we be?
That depends on whom you ask. Officials at the CDC and the WHO have emphasized that while the swine flu situation is serious, they're responding with an abundance of precautions. Even Osterholm, who has been highly critical of the U.S. government's long-term failures to better prepare for a pandemic, gives the CDC a 9 out of 10 for its response so far. Outside of Mexico, the swine flu hasn't looked too serious yet - unlike during the SARS outbreaks of 2003, when an entirely new virus with no obvious treatment took the world by surprise. In the U.S., the normal flu season is winding down, which should make it easier for public-health officials to pick out swine flu cases from run-of-the-mill respiratory disease. And there are simple things that people can do to protect themselves, like practicing better hygiene (wash hands frequently and cover mouth and nose when sneezing) and staying away from public places or traveling if they feel sick. "There's a role for everyone to play when an outbreak is ongoing," said Besser.
But the truth is that every outbreak is unpredictable, and there's a lot we don't know yet about the new swine flu. There hasn't been a flu pandemic for more than a generation, and there hasn't been a truly virulent pandemic since long before the arrival of mass air transit. We're in terra incognito here. Panic would be counterproductive - especially if it results in knee-jerk reactions like closing international borders, which would only complicate the public-health response. But neither should we downplay our very real vulnerabilities. As Napolitano put it: "This will be a marathon, not a sprint." Be prepared.

Prep on............

Original: http://louisianapreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/04/5-things-to-know-about-pandemic.html

Be Prepared...H1N1 Swine Flu

I wanted to wait until some more information came out to make a post about the swine flu outbreak. I'm sure most out there are aware of the situation, and are keeping up with current outbreak locations. Basically we have 3 strains of flu from 3 different parts of the world that have combined and created a human transmitted virus. It's not impossible for something like this to happen naturally, but it is extremely unlikely.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have already announced that this is uncontrollable. The number of deaths so far from the virus is over 200 and over 1,600 infected. It's interesting to note that the deaths were all from Mexico, no reported deaths in the US yet. This has popped up in a number of states including Ohio, Kansas, Texas, Indiana, New York, and California. Other than the US and Mexico, a number of countries have confirmed reports of swine flu as well as, New Zealand, Canada, Australia and Israel.

This isn't something to panic about just yet, there are around 36,000 people (according to the CDC) that die from the flu each year in the US alone. As a prepper, we need to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Your best precautions are to wash your hands regularly, avoid contact with people who might be sick with flu-like symptoms, if you don't already have some, get some N95 respirator masks, and latex gloves if things get really bad. I purchased 42 N95 masks a few weeks ago on clearance for $12, I knew those would come in handy!

Below is a map that is updated every few hours that shows all the known cases of swine flu worldwide. Keep a sharp eye on this one, and stay safe.

View H1N1 Swine Flu in a larger map

Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/KentuckyPreppersNetwork/~3/tE02HVdk_AU/be-preparedh1n1-swine-flu.html

Colloidal Silver to the Rescue

By Joseph Parish

In view of the recent epidemic of swine flu I am writing a sequence of articles concerning how we can safeguard ourselves by using what is known as colloidal silver. This is the first part which is merely providing you with some background information.

I am required to provide this disclaimer at the beginning of the article for all those who may be interested. The information below is provided to you for educational purposes only. I am not a medical doctor and can not advise nor prescribe anything for specific or general illnesses. What you are about to read is basically my opinion and experience only. None of this data is intended to be used as a substitute for proper medical care. The author assumes no responsibility for use of the material.

Silver has traditionally been considered a dominant antibiotic which has been employed in such use for thousands of years. Its function when appropriately used has shown no harmful side effects what so ever.

During America’s early western expansion days the early pioneers would place a silver coin in the milk jug in order to keep if from spoiling as they drove their carriages across the nation. It was well known how the ancient Greeks would remark about the medical merit of this valuable metal. It did not take long to realize that those families who used silver utensils with their meals were rarely sick and experienced very few infections. This knowledge was eventually passed on to various kings and members of the royal court. These privileged ones would eat with silver plates, they drank using silver cups, their utensils were made of silver and they generally stored their food in various silver containers. With the use of all these silver type products some of the silver was bound to rub off and tend to be mixed with their food. Eventually they received the complete benefits of the silver and rarely if ever were ill or had any chance of catching a serious infectious illness.

These royal families came to be known as Blue Bloods because their skin developed a blue tint from the accumulation of the traces of metallic silver accruing within the body.

In America Colloidal Silver was frequently used from the 1800s and well into 1938. Its medical benefits were prescribed for many diseases and infections. At that time there were no antibiotics available as we have today. This wonder product was used for just about everything. However, as with anything else in life the Colloidal Silver was inexpensive to make and required no prescription while the man made antibiotics were costly, thus big pharmacy companies wanted greatly to discourage its use. Once again today Colloidal Silver is quickly beginning to reappear in the homes of those people who desire effective and inexpensive options for the high drug costs.

You can readily find many people who are living proof of the effective use of the Colloidal silver. Amongst these practitioners are world leaders, corporate heads and of course an abundance of us common “folk”. Many of these groups of people are exposed to contagious disease daily but by taking their small dose of silver daily they prevent contacting very serious infections.

Often people ask what the recommended doses would be for use of this product. People should begin with what I refer to as a “Maintenance dose”. I would say that most people should begin with one teaspoon per day while using only half that for young children and a mere one fourth for babies. After taking the one teaspoon daily for a period of four days the adults could then cut back to using only one half teaspoon daily. If the taste of the silver bothers you then I recommend putting your daily spoonful in a small glass of juice.

Should you have a cold or catch a case of the flu you should begin immediately with a regiment of triple the recommended dosage for 3 days and then revert to the normal amount.

Colloidal Silver is an effective antibiotic which is known to kill just about all types of bacteria, viruses and funguses. In addition, it is considered the only antibiotic known to be essentially harmless to the human body. Colloidal Silver is basically non-toxic to all living things which are not one celled creatures. Since the one celled creatures use a different method of metabolism this is actually its weakness. The mere presence of the silver near any bacterium, virus or fungus will immediately cripple them by suffocating the cells.

Another major advantage of using the silver is that there are no known drug interactions of any kind. If you are currently taking prescription drugs for your heart or for diabetes you will have no problems with using the colloidal silver.

Organisms can quickly become resistant to the usual antibiotics causing them to be extremely ineffective over a period of time however; the silver will keep on working continuously. Since the silver chokes the microorganism it can not become immune to its effects. The ability of the product to work quickly represents one of its greatest achievements.

In our next session I would like to present you with a short list of some of the medical problems which can be resolved with the use of silver. See you then.

Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish

Original: http://survival-training.info/articles11/ColloidalSilvertotheRescue.htm

Health Officials Confirm 6 cases of Swine Flu in Canada

Canadian federal health officials have confirmed six cases of human swine influenza in British Columbia and Nova Scotia and are warning more cases are likely in the near future as medical personnel around the world test for the virus linked to a serious outbreak in Mexico.

Dr. Donald Low, the chief microbiologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto who played a key role in battling the Canadian SARS crisis in 2003, said in this article, dated Monday, April 27, 2009, that

"...what you're seeing here is the makings of a pandemic. You're seeing a new virus that we have no natural immunity to. You're seeing a virus that can cause disease, and in causing disease, can transmit from person to person..."

For more information about Swine flu in Canada, please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada website here and the Health Canada website here.

IN ADDITION...the American Preppers Network has come together and created a new site called Swine Flu Pandemic. This site contains the most comprehensive information on the Swine Flu Outbreak to date. Please check this site regularly for the most up-to-date information, links and news articles!

Stay healthy!

Original: http://canadianpreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/04/health-officials-confirm-6-cases-of.html

How to Survive a Flu Outbreak

Download to PDF, send to everyone you know

1. Stay informed

In addition to taking the precautions below, staying informed as the spread of the outbreak is vital to the danger level at this moment in time. Unlike during the Spanish flu outbreak in 1918, we have access to information as it happens. Check the Google Map below to see where Swine flu has occurred and if it is close to you.
Outbreak Map


Don’t expect that there will be a vaccine for everyone, there is a limited supply

3. Prepare for Quarantine

In a severe crisis, travel restrictions, curfews and perhaps quarantines may be implemented. To be prepared for a situation like this:

  • Have 2-3 weeks of clean drinkable water on hand
  • Have 2-3 weeks of food (try to get vitamin rich foods, smoothie drinks, fruits etc.)
  • Make sure you have proper medication and hygiene supplies at home
  • Have at least $100 of cash
  • In case of power outages or disruption of services like gas, have your own lanterns and propane stoves for cooking and light at nighttime

4. Isolate yourself

Even if you are a healthy individual, avoiding people and public places as much as possible can prevent or reduce the chance of catching the flu. Since many viruses can be passed several days before symptoms occur, you could be sick before you even know it.

  • Keep a distance of 3-6ft from others at all times
  • Avoid going to public events, avoid large crowds (sporting events, theaters etc.)
  • Avoid going out, unless necessary. When you do keep it to a minimum
  • DON’T leave your local area!! (Most people who have gotten swine flu were visiting Mexico)
  • Avoid eating out; the crowds and the sanitization of utensils could cause infection
  • Keep kids home from school, if possible
  • Work from home, if possible
  • If you have food and water storage, this is the time to use it (some of it), this will reduce your contact with others by avoiding grocery stores
  • If you don’t have food and water stored, go buy some.

5. Hygiene

  • Wash Your Hands frequently, especially after touching public doorknobs, pens or shopping carts
  • Carry Hand Sanitizer, Use frequently
  • Sanitize your car, work station and home with bleach or alcohol based cleaners
  • Avoid touching common germ sources
  • Wear latex gloves when out in public
  • DON’T share drinks or utensils
  • Wear face masks when out in public; use a mask with an N95 rating or higher
  • Wear glasses or goggles (airborne pathogens can get into your eyes)

6. Health

  • Get a good night’s sleep, every night
  • Buy food from local sources, clean or cook vigorously
  • Avoid smoking, drinking, and drugs (they reduce your immune function)
  • Start taking Vitamin C, D, Garlic, Elderberry, Oil of Oregano and Echinacea
  • Avoid salty foods and junk foods
  • Buy and take Colloidal Silver
  • Exercise regularly
  • Upon signs of infection, avoid others, cough into your arm or a handkerchief and see a doctor immediately (common flu vaccines can have severe side effects, avoid getting sick so you will not have to take these

If you do get infected consider setting up a Quarantine room. This is no substitute for professional medical care but it could be good during disruption of services.

Original: http://www.survival-spot.com/survival-blog/survive-a-flu-outbreak/

Proper Ways to Handle Swine Flu

“Panic is quite rare. What's quite common is denial; denial is why panic is rare. We are organized such that, when we're about to panic, we trip a circuit breaker instead and go into denial.” - Peter Sandman, Risk Communication Specialist

My column yesterday could be viewed as a form of denial. I suggested ignoring the media-hype and twitter panic on swine flu and calming preparing for a possible pandemic that was unlikely to happen. Since then I’ve done more reading from the opposing view point of “don’t risk your life, respond now.”

The NYT Health section this week includes a well-written article on Assessing the Danger of New Flu. It discusses the complications in judging how dangerous flu might be and then looks at Hong Kong as a model for proper government response.

Contagion and virulence
Two measurements describe flu or any disease. Contagion = how easily does the disease spread from person to person? Virulence = how deadly is it? (i.e. what percentage of people die from catching the disease?)
- The Spanish influenza of 1918 had a mortality rate of ONLY 2.5% but was very contagious and killed tens of millions.
- Bird Flu (global/current) kills 61% of those afflicted but so far infects mostly birds, rarely people. The total number of fatalities is 257.
- SARS (Hong Kong 2003) was virulent (17%) and spreadable. But it killed only 299.
It is not easy to figure out which flu bugs will be pandemics and which ones won’t before it is too late.

Lessons Learned
Hong Kong (HK) learned much from SARS about how to respond to an epidemic:
- By weeks end, HK will have six laboratories studying the genetic markers for Swine Flu to allow for rapid detection and diagnosis of new cases
- HK has tens of thousands of doctors and nurses, including retirees, on standby and ready to be mobilized. (The US has a similar program called the Medical Reserve Corps created under President Bush.)
- HK has contingency plans to keep public transport, electricity, food supplies, telecommunications and other vital services running if large numbers of people fall ill.
- Since SARS Hong Kong has added 1,400 respiratory isolation unit beds to hospitals.
- HK with a population of seven million people has stockpiled 20 million treatment courses of Tamiflu. The US with 300 million people has 50 million courses of Tamiflu.
- HK is quickly passing a law to require all health professionals to notify authorities of any suspected cases of Swine Flu. This allows the disease to be accurately tracked.
- HK has broad and detailed legal powers to quarantine possible cases. The US (after six years) is still debating how to handle legal issues during a possible pandemic.

Bottom Line
Several articles today have suggested that a little panic is good for public health. As discussed above it is very hard to know which flu bugs will fade quickly and which ones will be deadly killers. By the time authorities do know, the bug may have already spread widely making quarantines useless. The safest course for individuals and the public is to follow the example set in Mexico at the first hint of a new flu virus. Order the public to stay home and close the schools, non-essential business and all public events. If you must go out, wear a facemask.

Staying home and sitting out the flu will save lives but at terrible economic cost in lost business, lost jobs, etc. While you and I may value our life over money, not so for governments which feed on tax revenues. Since governments exist to prevent panic and to promote business, they will placate, lie, under report illnesses & deaths, over promote actions & cures, etc, to keep the peace. So Mexico deserves credit for putting the people first by declaring a National Emergency and quarantine.

WHO Raises Swine Flu Alert Level but stopped short of declaring a global emergency.
The suspected number of deaths rose to 149 in Mexico, the epicenter of the outbreak with nearly 2,000 people believed to be infected. The number of U.S. cases rose to 48, the result of further testing at a New York City school, although none was fatal.


Swine Flu could Cripple U.S. Economy

Recently the Congressional Budget Officer estimated the effect on a global swine flu on America. Already crippled from the unprecendented job losses and foreclosures a left hook from the swine flu just may put us down for the count.

The CBO speculates that, while the majority of Americans would not actually get sick, they would feel the effects of the pandemiic, in their pocketbooks. According to their estimate, a severe flu pandemic could infect 90 million people, result in the death of more than 2 million and would cause a 4.25 percent drop in the nation's gross domestic product. A milder pandemic, similar to those in 1957 and 1968, could lead to 75 million people becoming sick, 100,000 deaths and a drop of 1 percent in the nation's GDP.

All leveld of government would have to re-allocate dollars in order to care for the sick, instead of bailing out banks and nationalizing corporations. This shift in priority would put the breaks on our alleged improved economy.

In addition the CBO offer the following insights:
  1. People will try minimize public venues where the potential for exposure will be the greatest. Airlines, sports, entertainment, malls, movies theaters, concerts, and even schools could be impacted.
  2. Mass transit ridership will plummet.
  3. Work force absenteeism rates could sky rocket.
  4. Hospitals could become overwhelmed.

Using the 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak as a model, the CBO could produce the following results-

  • 80% drop in demand for arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services.
  • 67% drop in demand for transportation and warehousing.
  • 10% loss of demand for agriculture, mining, construction, retail trade, finance.
  • 15% increase in demand for health care and social assistance.

We are monitoring this situation and will give updates as soon as they come forth. Readers of this blog are advised to not panic. According to the CDC here are few things that can help you stay healthy.

  1. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  2. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  4. Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  5. Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
  6. If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
Original: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SurviveTheWorst/~3/ZZjysJjlhp4/swine-flu-could-cripple-us-economy.html

Swine Flu Updates for 04-28-09

Swine Flu case reported in Indiana - link

CDC - link

CDC link explaining the alert levels

Mexican reports: flu much worse

Original: http://indianapreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/04/swine-flu-updates-for-04-28-09.html

Worst-Case Scenario Underlies U.S. Pandemic Plan

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

WASHINGTON — Two million dead. Hospitals overwhelmed. Schools closed. Swaths of empty seats at baseball stadiums and houses of worship. An economic recovery snuffed out.

The world is not remotely close to what U.S. government planners are considering a worst-case scenario: a global pandemic. Government leaders at all levels, and major American employers, have spent almost four years planning for a pandemic in series of exercises. Their reports, reviewed by The Associated Press, and interviews with participants paint a grim picture of what could happen if the swine flu should get severely out of control.

A full-scale pandemic, should it ever come, could be expected to claim the lives of about 2 percent of those infected, or about 2 million Americans.

The government estimates that a pandemic like the 1918 Spanish flu would sicken 90 million Americans, or about 30 percent of the population. Of those, nearly 10 million would have to be admitted to hospitals, and nearly 1.5 million would need intensive care. About 750,000 would need the help of mechanical ventilators to keep breathing.

No one would be immune from the consequences, even those who do not get sick, according to worst-case exercises run by local and national agencies.

Schools would be closed to try and block the spread of illness, for example, but school buses might be needed to take flu victims to alternative clinics rather than overcrowded hospitals.

A 2006 report in the Washington region found both Maryland and Virginia would run out of hospital beds within two weeks of a moderate outbreak.

People who get sick would be isolated, and their relatives could be quarantined.

But even if families were not required to stay home, many would do so to take care of sick relatives or because they were afraid of getting sick themselves.

Hotels, restaurants and airlines face loss of business as business travel and meetings would be replaced by teleconferences.

In the cities, commuters who do go to work might bike or walk instead of using transit.

In 1918, authorities even urged churches to cancel services, to the chagrin of some pastors.

Society as a whole would go into a defensive crouch, and that would deliver a shock to the economy.

The Trust for America's Health, an independent public health group, estimated in 2007 that a severe pandemic would shrink U.S. economic output about 5.5 percent.

Take a breath. Even if the new swine flu from Mexico should turn out to be especially aggressive, the worst consequences could be averted.

Although some U.S. states are less prepared than others, the nation has stockpiled antiviral medicines, speeded the production of vaccines, and laid down basic public health guidelines.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Monday that the United States is preparing as if the swine flu outbreak were a full pandemic. It is not at that stage and may never reach it.

Disease detectives are following a series of outbreaks, of varying severity, all of which appear to be related to Mexico. A pandemic would spread throughout the world with explosive speed.

The government got serious about worst-case planning during the 2005 bird flu scare, partly as a result of the grossly unprepared state of relief agencies after the August 2005 monster Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed large sections of historic New Orleans, Louisiana.

"We have a playback that was developed and is being followed," said Michael Leavitt, who as secretary of Health and Human Services oversaw pandemic planning for President George W. Bush. "It's a substantially better picture than what we faced three years ago."

SHTF: Swine Flu Scenarios

The news headlines are clear: Swine Flu Spreading

No questions there. Cases are popping up all over the U.S., in Israel, New Zealand, Scotland and many other places. So far, the fatalities have been limited to Mexico.

In 1918, the world saw the first flu virus pandemic with the Spanish Influenza breakout that year. The virus first manifested itself in the spring of 1918, went nearly dormant in the summer and then exploded in the autumn.

Could it happen again?

Some say what happened in 1918 could not happen in 2009 because we have a better healthcare system, instant communication, a nationwide health apparatus (the CDC) designed to deal with communicable diseases, and improved hygene practices.

It is for these reasons and others, I think that a 1918 type viral outbreak could be worse.

First, the U.S. healthcare system is already overtaxed. With so many people using the emergency room for primary care, an outbreak would quickly overwhelm the system. In addition, costs have closed several hospitals and clinics already.

Yes, we have instant communication, but that same medium propagates rumors that much faster. Some joker could spread a story on the Internet that the virus is being spread at a certain location, or city or through a product and watch the people panic.

The CDC may have good doctors and workers on staff, but since it is in the best interest of the nation not to have panic, what is to prevent them from burying the story about what is really happening? Ever read the Stand by Stephen King?

And what about hygiene? A friend reports that nearly every illness gets spread through his children's elementary school like wildfire partially due to poor hygiene practices. Both natives and new immigrants to our country all have different ideas about "clean" constitutes. One may bathe every day and another once a week and so on. And despite the governments warnings the flu is spreading faster every day.

Here is something else to consider. In 1918, a large portion of the country lived in rural and semi-rural areas. Many were never effected by the Spanish Influenza due to their proximity from the virus. Compare that to today where millions are sequestered in packed cities, housed in massive apartment buildings, are packed like sardines in overcrowded schools and occupying high rise building offices sharing each others germs passed conveniently through central air and heating systems.

Imagine this scenario:
Child goes to inner city school where another child has been exposed to the virus and left at school by parents who both have to work. Infected child spreads the flu to one hundred other children who take it back to their apartment buildings and city homes. Within twenty four hours, thousands have been exposed who then take the flu onto mass transit buses and trains spreading the illness around even more. Office and factory workers share the virus and the ripples grow larger and larger.

As workers and children get sick, critical care and public safety workers succumb to the flu and start missing work. City services like garbage and traffic go unattended. Electricity and water service become spotty which further exaserbates the problem. Within a week, thousands pack cars and suitcases and head out of the city "until things blow over". The roads and interstates are packed. Cars full of the sick began flooding into smaller nearby towns and quickly overwhelm health care facilities.

Small towns begin to quarantine themselves. The government declares curfews and looting begins in unprotected areas. Things start to unravel..

Could it happen? It has before. Look at Medieval Europe when the Black Death spread across the continent. Whole towns and villages were emptied in a few months.

Best get prepared and think of the worse case scenario before things go downhill. Do you have food and water stocked? Cash on hand? Gasoline in the car? Plenty of OTC medicines, disinfectants, and cleaning products?

Hopefully, this flu bug will move on and never become anything more than an annoying spring bug. But is best to have a pandemic plan ready just in case.

Original: http://survivalism.blogspot.com/2009/04/shtf-swine-flu-scenarios.html