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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Flu Virus, Facts You Should Know

The Flu Virus, Facts You Should Know



As the flu season begins to ramp up, there are 3 flu strains going around, H1N1 (swine flu), an H3N2 virus, and an influenza B virus, all of which are included in the 2010-2011 flu vaccine.
When outdoor temperatures plummet, people move indoors and interact more under indoor conditions. When people are inside together, it increases the likelihood of spreading the virus.

What is the flu

The flu is not a “bad cold” that keeps you sick for a few days. The flu is a virus, and it knocks you off your feet for a week, barely able to move with severe muscle aches and joint pain, headache, fever (usually high), chills, dry cough, and extreme tiredness and no desire or energy to eat or drink. When the flu strikes, there will be no doubt that you have it. It is amazingly debilitating.
The flu is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus, not a gastrointestinal one.  When the virus gets into the body, it moves into the respiratory tract where it binds to cells, takes over their function, replicates itself, kills off the original cell which then goes on to infect other cells. This process happens countless times over without you ever realizing, until it eventually enters the bloodstream and symptoms begin to occur. Then of course, it’s too late. Eventually, a healthy immune system will fight back, but it will take a while, a solid week of suffering and additional weeks of weakness.
The symptoms of a cold are similar, however the big difference to know is the severity. Additionally, the common cold rarely spikes a fever, while the flu will spike a high fever. Once the flu is contracted, there will be no doubt in the mind from that point forward.

What is the flu shot

The flu shot is an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. After the vaccination, the immune system will develop a resistance to the strains within the vaccine after about two weeks.
The flu vaccine changes each year and is specifically tailored for the flu strains determined to be in circulation that year.
The flu shot provides about a 75 percent effectiveness rate in preventing hospitalizations.
It’s not too late to get a flu shot, if you are inclined. Although there are those who would rather not get the shot for various reasons, if you have ever really caught the flu, you will never want to have it again.
To depend entirely on ones own immune system to combat the flu may not be the best way to cope with the flu… after all, our bodies used to have a hard time coping with smallpox, polio, tuberculosis, tetanus, and others, until vaccines were developed and administered.

How to prepare for the flu

Once you have already caught the flu, it will be too late to prepare or go to the store for food or supply. You will not be capable of doing any of that, so plan ahead.
The number one priority while suffering from flu symptoms is to remain as hydrated as possible. When dehydrated, drinks like Pedialyte or Gatorade are even better than water, because they replace electrolytes that are lost (I’m sure there are other “good” liquids available too with vitamins and electrolytes).
Have a thermometer to check fever.
Try to keep the fever under control. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) help reduce fever in children and adults. Aspirin is very effective for treating fever in adults. DO NOT give aspirin to a child unless your child’s doctor tells you to.
Although while suffering from the flu, the appetite is suppressed, having simple ready-meals will save pain and aggravation. Most all of us have at least a few cans of soup lying around, so goes without saying… or perhaps your spouse will fix up something healthy and warm  :=)

How to avoid the flu

Get a flu shot
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
Wash your hands often with soap and water.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
If someone sneezes nearby, hold your breath and walk further away.
Technically, you could wear a properly rated Flu Mask.
The most effective avoidance may be to try to notice and stop yourself when you’re about to rub your eyes, nose, or mouth (an important habit to get in to!)

How to catch the flu

Indirect transmission is common.
You can catch the flu from rubbing your eyes, nose, or mouth after handling an object an infected person christened with a sneeze a few moments ago. It is important to know that flu viruses primarily spread when an uninfected person has direct contact (a handshake, inhaling sneezed particles, touching an infected surface) with an infected person.
Flu virus will survive outside the body from a few minutes to as long as 48 hours. Flu generally remains active longer on stainless steel, plastic and similar hard surfaces than on fabric and other soft surfaces.

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Modern Survival Blog

Is Prepping a waste of money?

I often get asked the question – Isn’t prepping just a big waste of money?
The naysayer would say: What if nothing goes wrong? Why would I throw my money away prepping for a disaster that will probably never happen?
The prepper would say: Its better safe than sorry! While the sheeple are fighting over scraps, I’ll be set for whatever comes.
Here are a couple of reasons that we believe prepping is well worth the effort.
  • Prepping is a good financial investment. People who prep tend to actually save a lot of money. If you are buying the necessities, you can wait until those things go on sale and buy them when they are at their cheapest price.
  • Inflation – Buying the necessities now is smarter than years from now when prices are likely to skyrocket.
  • Prepping makes sense for small scale disasters. What if you lose your job? Would having a stocked pantry full of food help?
In our current economic climate prepping just makes sense! If you stock up on products that you are going to use anyways then prepping will never be a waste of money.

Sporadic posts over the next few days

I'm out of town renovating my Brother's bathroom, so posts may be a bit sporadic for a few days.



Guest Post: Putting to much faith in BOBs is bad for your survival By Northern Raider

 I’m starting to get just a bit concerned about some folks putting their blind faith in Bug Out Bags and the issues involved in having all your eggs in one basket.

Try and imagine the worst case scenario happening and you according plan grab your BOB and head out into yonder wilderness with your life support system on your back.

Confident? Well Equipped?  Ready for Armageddon or a Tea Party Rally OK so what is your plan if you become SEPARATED from your BOB?

Suppose, just suppose for a moment you are crossing a river and your BOB gets swept away, or your  abseiling down the side of a hill and the bag breaks free and falls out of reach, consider being woken in the middle of the night to find a predator either with teeth or a gun has got the drop on you and the only choice is to run, Or you wake up to find your shelter ablaze and you only have time to get yourself to safety, or you get robbed, or the govt confiscates it, or more than likely when TSHTF you are at location A and your BOB is at location B.

Watcha going to do? (no ramboesque BS please).

Time after time proud Preppers have honoured me by asking them to critique their BOBS, and though not in all cases, in many I find these well prepped folks have ALL
their kit in a bag of some sort, but that bag is no good to you if you don’t have it with you when you need it.

I respectfully believe your essentials should be about your person, in your pockets, hanging off your belt etc (EDC style), not hanging on the back of the office door 10 floors away, or in the trunk of your car three streets away.
Now it is not my role to tell you what are the ‘ESSENTIALS’ in your survival plans that is for you to decide depending on your lifestyle, location and threat assessment, BUT surely ( Shirley)  such basic items as a

Gun ( US of A)

Lock knife
Multi Tool
Bandana / Kerchief
Specs / Shades
Some cash
Length of Paracord
Few Water Puri-tabs

should be your permanent companions at all times, this giving you a huge percentage increase in surviving should you be deprived from your BOB. Don’t forget Homers law “You wont have your bag when you need it most”  ‘Doh’